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Literature / Loves Lost And Found

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Loves Lost And Found is a supernatural-horror and romance short story by Lightysnake, an entry in The Kindness of Devils and told in anachronistic order through short prequel vignettes, ending in modern day. It can be read here.

Written for Valentine's Day. A short glimpse into several of the lives and loves of Hardestadt Delac in the past, from 14th century Aragon, 11th century Korea and 6th century Ireland, all the way to modern day, showcasing the people who meant the most to Hardestadt and the past adventures he's had.

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The work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Act of True Love: How does Hardestadt spend Valentine's Day while with Erin? Fighting yetis to get her a flower to cure the common cold she has.
  • Action Girl: Sun-hyo, Kanti and Maria (insofar as Maria may be defined as female) were accomplished fighters.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Maria is biologically female, but does not identify to either gender in their heart.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Maria is one of the top leaders of the Hunter Brotherhood and their finest warrior to boot.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Maria is a master practitioner of this; Mihai does a decent job at impersonating Hardestadt, but several little discrepancies (like him calling Maria a woman) is enough to tip them off.
  • Berserk Button: Don't mention Oliver Cromwell to 'Aoife.'
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  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Sea Witch from The Song of the Sea isn't evil, strictly speaking, so much as she is an ancient being capable of beauty and cruelty in equal measure. Much like the sea itself.
  • Call-Back: Maria's opponent is Mihai Kraan—one of the Kraan family that served as the Co-Dragons of Count von Krolock. Maria ensures he doesn't last long.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Hilariously averted. 'Aoife' mentions nearly hooking up with a man who bought her a drink. She gets a bit annoyed how utterly blase Hardestadt is about that.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Maria keeps their garden stocked full of traps just in case supernatural nasties show up..
  • Deal with the Devil: Ceoladh sold her voice to the Sea Witch for legs and a chance to be with a man she was infatuated by.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Hardestadt does, but being as he's often immortal and they're not, it never lasts. He and Eliza are notably in a happy relationship in the 1930s, and everything seems fine, but the chapter title? "Never to be."
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  • Early-Bird Cameo: Oyuki Akamine is mentioned in A Conspiracy of Serpents and appears briefly in Sun-hyo's section.
  • Friends with Benefits: In The Girl in Question, Hardestadt and the Irish Seer 'Aoife' have this relationship, though it's clear they mean more to one another than just that.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Sawney Bean in the chapter Cold Fires. He never appears but he's the one who hired the slavers to abduct children for him. The chapter ends with Kanti and Hardestadt planning on tracking him down.
  • Happily Married: A running theme. All the women Hardestadt was married to were for love, and each pairing had them love and trust one another.
  • The Lad-ette: "Aoife," the Irish Seer, is an aggressive, foul-mouthed woman who playfully threatens to relocate Hardestadt to the couch for a week—in his own house.
  • Lonely Together: "Aoife" and Hardestadt freely admit they're both lonely, but feel less lonely when they spend time together.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Another running theme here. Hardestadt always outlives his mortal love interests.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Maria's response to a strigoi threatening them with his dying breath is to drolly say they've heard it before and finish him off.
  • Scars Are Forever: Sun-hyo is covered in scars from the Kumiho that killed her parents, when it had her father's form to savage her.
  • Spotting the Thread: When a strigoi impersonates Hardestadt, a few inconsistencies give him away to Maria, but one is the most damning of all.
    Maria: But your true fatal error, Strigoi? No matter what else? Lucian would never refer to me as a woman.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Hild defeats a horde of Draugr via understanding and gentleness.
  • You Killed My Father: Sun-hyo holds a deep grudge against her Kumiho nemesis for killing her parents.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Hardestadt's long absences are shown to provoke anxiety about this in Erin in the present day due to her past history with less than faithful boyfriends—although he consistently shows that will never happen between them.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Ceoladh is the former 'little mermaid' of stories and part of her pact with the Sea Witch is her life ending to an exact day.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In Cold Fires, Kanti hunts down men who have kidnapped children to sell for dark purposes.
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