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It's all there. You just need to look harder.
The story follows two characters--Gerik, the game's mercenary unit and leader of an in-game mercenary troop, and Saleh, one of the game's mages. The title is a reference to Saleh's status as a sage from the mountains, and Gerik's nickname of "the Desert Tiger." While it is listed as romance and the first two chapters are rather heavy on it, the subsequent chapters gain much more subtlety and the Seme/Uke dynamic is noticeably absent throughout.
It has few reviews, especially compared to how long it's been online (at least two years due to the author's ridiculous procrastination), but it has never quite reached Dead Fic status. The often months-long gaps between updates are generally due to the author actually caring about her work, and probably contributes to its low review count.
Tropes evident in this work:
- Badass Bookworm: Saleh.
- Badass Normal: Gerik.
- Brains and Brawn: Saleh (brains) and Gerik (brawn). The line is blurred with Saleh being far from frail due to growing up in the mountains, and Gerik being a bit of a Genius Bruiser in how he understands people so well.
- Emo: Averted with Saleh. While his quiet nature and the fact that he wears copious bracelets often result in him being written as depressed, Emo, and reclusive, the author writes him as a more realistic Stepford Smiler who keeps quiet about his past to avoid pity.
- A Father to His Men: Gerik.
- (Not so) Heterosexual Life Partners: A logical extension of the game's support system.
- Shout-Out: To the webcomic HERO and Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series.
- Shown Their Work: As mentioned above,
- Those Two Guys: Gerik and Saleh, while they are Those Two Guys in the game's plot, are obviously the main characters in this instance.