Warning This fiction contains:
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"Trouble is brewing, the world of Karridor is hurtling toward an inevitable doom, and no matter how long I ignore it nobody else seems willing to fix it!"

Follow the lazy and capricious "Goddess" Alexandria as she struggles to find someone who can solve the big problems so she doesn't have to. After all Alexandria knows involving herself with the affairs of the outside world is a losing proposition that always ends in heartbreak, it's a lesson she's learned again and again, but maybe it's time to learn it once more?

 

=====

 

a/n: project mostly dead, sorry folks

 

*cover commisioned from Juan Miguel - thanks so much!

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sinkingship

sinkingship

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue - Waking Up ago
Chapter 1 - Introductions are... ago
Chapter 2 - A problem of balance... ago
Chapter 3 - Everyone else is... ago
Chapter 4 - A name is important... ago
Chapter 4.5 - Interlude - Pink ago
Chapter 5 - In need of direction... ago
Chapter 6 - The Gates of Alexandria ago
Chapter 7 - Seafood in the desert ago
Chapter 8 - Something like pain ago
Chapter 9 - Dissension ago
Chapter 10 - Group Cohesion ago
Chapter 11 - The Sentinel ago
Chapter 11.5 - Interlude - Alaina ago
Chapter 12 - Pink's Plan ago
Chapter 13 - Lost in translation ago
Chapter 14 - Infiltration ago
Chapter 15 - Adventurers ago
Chapter 16 - Meeting People ago
Chapter 16.5 - Interlude - Pink ago
Chapter 17 - Patience ago
Chapter 18 - Meeting a Duke ago
Chapter 19 - A Pact ago
Chapter 20 - Hole in the Heart ago
Chapter 21 - Unforeseeable Complications ago
Chapter 22 - Bolstering the Ranks ago
Chapter 22.5 - Interlude - Alaina ago
Chapter 22.6 - Interlude - Alaina ago
Chapter 23 - Lines in the Sand ago
Chapter 24 - Trouble in Shadfer ago
Not a chapter ago
Chapter 25 - Knight Class ago
Chapter 26 - More Work ago
Chapter 27 - Shad Grub ago
Chapter 28 - Broken Seal ago
Chapter 29 - Disappointment; It stings ago
Chapter 30 - Spotting Opportunity ago
Chapter 31 - No Fairer Price ago
Chapter 32 - Avashorn Well ago
Chapter 33 - A Warning ago
Chapter 33.5 - Interlude Alaina ago

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WhoCares
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A big serving of plot with a side of character!

<WC's Mutual Reviews: Read uptill Chapter 13. All opinions are independent of the swap.>

Overall: A beautifully narrated, well thought out, well written work that could definitely be published eventually. Grammar is near perfect by RRl standards, barring the occasional hiccup, and the style is fresh, immersive, and deep. The end goal is clear and concrete, and the story never lacks direction. I found myself eagerly anticipating the next development in the story, and hope the author will continue writing!

Style: 4/5 It was very deep and immersive, with lots of complex and compound sentences thrown around to enrich the narration. My only gripe is that the author didn't seem as confident about their abilities as they should have been. A lot of exposition could have been weaved into the story at later points (and indeed, it was weaved into the story at points, even to the point of being repeated) and the author would sometimes explain things explicitly after already implying them. However, this is LEAGUES above most people on RRl and is easily remedied with a little effort on their part.

Story: 5/5 Well constructed, with a clear end point and motivation for both major characters. The twists so far were wonderfully handled, and the plot is moving at a good - gradually increasing - pace, which is perfect for a story like this.

Grammar: 4.75/5 The only major recurring errors I found was the use of 'women' instead of 'woman' and over extending complex/compound sentences (though this was fixed in the final few chapters or so) Honestly, this is probably nitpicking for RRl, and most readers will not notice any irregularities at all (well, they might notice, but no one will care)

Character: 5/5 Really shines through. The main character is internally consistant, her conflict is rightly the conflict of the story (a basic component of storytelling that a lot of people get wrong) and her relationship with the secondary character is well developed, well thought out, and multi faceted. They both felt real to me, and although the main character is overpowered to the extreme, it doesn't feel like a cliche because of her personality and the narration of the story. I would recommend staying away from anime/manga/LN style cliches like random question marks, strings of upper case letters, and rhetorical questions asked of themselves for no discernable purpose. Not that it's wrong to go for that, but this doesn't seem to be the kind of story where that blends well. The tone's a bit too heavy for that.

Conclusion: A very very well written story. The author has an extensive vocabulary, a solid understanding of both language and storytelling, and does not hesitate to show them off. Aside from the few minor complaints and suggestions I dropped here and in the comments, it's a nearly perfect story that has gripped me enough for me to read it intently, and immersed me immediately into the world the author has constructed with a lot of painstaking thought, heart, and effort. Read it if you like well written fantasy stories with a good, solid story that'll keep you hooked!

Rated, reviewed, favorited, and WC approved! ^_^

Maromar
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Couldn't fall asleep till I finished it.

The Unbound, beings corrupted by a mana imbalance are making the world inhospitable, humans, angels and intelligent creatures in general are being massacred by increasingly powerful, seemingly inexhaustible horrors, containment lines are being drawn further and further back by the year.

Who, in this time of desperation, is the most qualified to beat an emergent extinction event back into the depths of myth and nightmare? Who has the knowledge, station, and raw power to save the lives of literally everyone?

 An extremely unmotivated Demon Lord who seems to only care for the contagion’s ability to disturb her sleep. Sinkingship’s world of Once More appears to be thoroughly shafted, for Alexandria wishes to plop back down on her throne with as little effort as possible expended, even if it means prolonging the suffering of the more short-lived races.

Rich in humor, both dark and character based, this adventure fantasy nonetheless manages to touch on themes such as the effects of power, culture, and hearts scarred by a history of constant disappointment and emotional trauma.   

At once, the text reveals an elevated, some would say heavy, form of prose that lends itself well to the descriptive and introspective nature of the story. The thing doesn’t look like a flower when you turn your reading device sideways, though. The style may alienate readers used to club-against-the-brain writing where a bare minimum is given without much exposition existing in the same room as action and dialogue. The pacing does “suffer” a bit for it, but the trade off in a well-established tone of devil-may-care levity and in some cases, forlornness that keeps readers thinking for a long time.

There are, however, instances where stylistic choices get in the way. Take the interludes, for example. Some of them rehash events, in whole or in part, already displayed from the perspective of another character. While very good at showing internal motivations and differences in worldviews, it feels unnecessary, especially when these aspects are already shown by interactions between Alexandria and the character in question. Rehashes of this nature are a pet peeve of mine because it feels handholdy (it’s a word if I say it’s a word, Microsoft!) when done to death. Imagine a parent never transitioning from the baby talk phase with their 1st grader, and you get a close enough approximation of the frustration it can generate. Some pieces of exposition are also redoubled unnecessarily close to each other, but these small cases are far less jarring.

Grammatically, Once More is pretty solid. The readers have been ever helpful in pointing out the little issues that keep the text from being as airtight as possible, but a few things like homophone misuse remains (“humanities” rather than “humanity’s” in one instance, iirc). RRL, being an online publishing platform, doesn’t quite care to place blackmarks on good stories for the occasional minor gaff, though. There are much, much, worse samples out there.

You’ll find that Alexandria holds different perspectives on morality than the average viewer, you’ll also find that she is consistent and logical in these perspectives, something often neglected in works that feature blue and orange morality and things close to it. The most representative instances involve moments where Alexandria takes action not due to sentimentality, (which she does seem to possess, yet pushes it aside as a tertiary consideration at most) but a slight against her image or a grudging acceptance of work that can’t be efficiently delegated to another party. All because she wants to, initially at least, return to a peaceful sleep absent of any real responsibilities.

Oftentimes, her boredom and laziness can come across as an instance of the protagonist holding the idoit ball; the dichotomy of outright benevolent actions towards a select few interposed with disregard for subordinates as tools or pets at best is a source of some dissonance that is sure to turn the wonderfully crafted experience sour for people who can’t sympathize with or tolerate her attitude. A close human equivalent would be the humble college student who recognizes the deadline for their term paper looming over them, but wants nothing more than to do anything else with their time. It’s not due a week from now, so why worry about it until then? Not a particularly apt analogy In terms of both scale and implication, sure, but the feeling is likely much the same from her eyes. Or even less trivial, considering the fact that other sapient beings are compared to insects. Do you defend ant colonies with your life?

Strange social mores and actions that may have readers scratch their heads in one part, only to grin when they discover long foreshadowed or well justified reasoning later are quite common. Sinkingship doesn’t seem content to simply put a hat and strange physical description on secondary characters and call it a day, this alone, would make the story well recommendable when benchmarked against its contemporaries.

Plotwise, the story maintains a basic level that allows the focus to shift on the burdens and motivations of the characters. And for characters as fleshed out and colorful as the fiercely loyal succubus Pink, and the beleaguered yet well intentioned Duke Clearwater, the simplicity works exceptionally well.

Do read Once More if your village isn’t too Unbound infested to receive a stable internet connection, it’s a top class distraction sure to please those fond of high fantasy and their parodies.

Sheldon
Overall

Well written and deserves to be read

The writer clearly knows what he's doing. MC felt well written and thought out. I liked her character from the very beginning (Because I'm lazy too, like really, really lazy :P ).  

Apart from that, it manages to keep you interested enough to read further and learn more about the characters, the world and the story. It is also very readable and felt grammatically sound. The author has a good grasp of the language and his writing style is consistent. 

Of course, like most stories, this isn't for everyone. There will be some who won't like the premise, the steady progression or the 'unique' traits of the characters. But I think most won't feel disappointed after reading this.

I have read ten chapters. The only gripe I had was the extensive use of big paragraphs. It was a bit hard for me to read, as I have a short attention span. But it doesn't affect the experience that much. I will try to give an advanced review after reading through the rest of it. 

Flawless
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The first thought that comes to mind when reviewing this work is how logical it is. What I mean by logical is the lack of contradictions, fallacies, and inconsistencies in the story. Characters act rationally in the situations they are put in. The magic system, although not explained in detail, is not mired with contradictions. In short, the story is extremely believable.

Other stories fall flat of this point. They either try to overexplain or underexplain, almost never a compromise in between. Once More is a rare gem that doesn't require readers to suspend their disbelief.

I would not give such a high review, however, if the writing was not also excellent. In terms of style and grammar, Once More is outstanding. Having come to expect a published work level of quality for most of my life, I can barely stomach the prose in even highly rated Royal Road stories. Once More exceeds my expectations in this regard as well - it is clear the author is highly gifted in writing fiction.

As far as plot and characterization goes, there remains some room for improvement. The world building and setting of the story is commendable, but the overall plot can be tedious at times. The characterization too, while not inadequate, is somewhat bland. Characters beyond the lead and supporting leads are somewhat binary. Part of the reason is the story being 90% in the first person perspective of the protagonist - most of the character development is done via point of view changes. However, I have read stories that achieve the same effect through dialogue and narration.

It is wholly unreasonable to hold Royal Road stories to such a high standard, however. Even in story and characterization, Once More is good, approaching excellent. I would maybe give a harsher rating if this site were, say, Goodreads. But, as they say, "In Rome, do as the Romans do"; I rate both the story and character score a 4.5/5, consistent with the scores I see other stories getting on this site.

I highly recommend reading this story to those reading this review.

EruIluvatar
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This review contains minor spoilers.

Overall this was an amazing and entertaining story. I recommended anyone tired of reading stories full of errors on this site to read a few chapters of Once More to see if it interests them. Although my review has some criticism, please still check out the story.

Stylistically, Once More is written in first person and follows the point of view of – for the most part – a single character. I am not a fan of this. It limits the story too much, and if the reader becomes somewhat tired of that character’s point of view, they cannot look forward to reading through a different character. Although I didn’t mind seeing the world through Alexandria, I did find it a bit boring to be limited to her apathetic point of view. Personally, I would have more enjoyed reading the point of view of other characters on what Alexandria is doing and let them try to understand her intentions. Variety in this regard would have been a boon to Once More and allow the sinkingship to flesh out the characters to a greater extent.

The grammar of the story is fine overall. I am late reviewing the story, as it has been on hiatus for over a year now, but it appears the story has undergone some revisions biased on the comments of kind site users. Overall, besides leaving out quotes to end speaking paragraphs, and one typo I spotted at some point, the story’s grammar far exceeds the average found on this site. Although not really grammar, the word flow in this story is good as well. Sometimes stories on this site have such horrible word flow that I cannot read past the first chapter. In Once More though, I can assure any potential reader that they will not encounter this problem.

The story has a lot of promise, even though it only feels like it is just beginning. There are many plot points that can be explored that I would excitingly read about. First, I believe there is something more to the corruption than what Alexandria is aware of. I may be reading too much into it, but I counted around three or four hints that the actual God of Demons is responsible for the corruption – not simply the “imbalance” spoken about so far (If I’m right, this is amusing as it would mean the Chorus’ “exalted” is misinterpreting the warnings of his goddess – believing Alexandria to be the source of the corruption as they understand her to be the god of demons, not knowing of the existence of the true god). If these hints are intentional, it is the mark of a good writer. Secondly, the issue of Pestilence being resolved is exciting. I don’t know exactly where the author would go with her, but it has a lot of potential to be interesting. Not going to deeply into this, it is obvious there are many avenues to explore, which makes the story an interesting one (of course, I doubt at this point the story will ever see another update… although sinkingship was online the day I posted this review, so he is still an active member of the community and maybe hope still is reasonable).

It is also worth noting, that the story was interesting to the degree that I decided to slack in my university program for two days so to read it. This should give a good indication of it being entertaining.

I have a love-hate relationship with Alexandria. Alexandria can be annoying at times (though I believe sinkingship acknowledges in a AN or comment at some point that this is deliberate), and I almost gave up reading the story at one point because of her actions, but she is a character that I see potential in. She, of course, will have limited growth beyond the other character – being a near immortal being of unfathomable age should make it so it is hard to change her – but the changes that might occur are exciting.

The other characters, particularly Pink and Pestilence (or Alaina) have much room for exciting growth as well. In fact, these two characters have the potential to even outshine Alexandria as the story's stars. Pink, if she takes her oath of obtaining the world for Alexandria seriously, will eventually realize her complete incompatibility to do the task without the help of her mistress. This might incite her to try to get stronger through learning more about magic so to be worthy of the task she set herself to, and in turn, increase her chance of a more solid relationship with her mistress. This is exciting as, if Pink does do this and manages to enter Alexandria’s heart, she would have the greatest impact, I believe, on Alexandria’s character development, all the while expanding her own. At this point,  Pink is not anywhere near the point to realize this however. In fact, the last few chapters she seems to be more like a typical flat love interest you might find in cringy ecchi anime. My high expectations of her character growth placed against how she has acted so far, is one of the reasons I am only giving the story a 3.5 in the character review rating.

The relationship between Pink and Pestilence offers much ground for character interaction. I wish the two had a proper interaction in the given chapters for this reason, but ultimately, I see a good amount of tension possible between the sisters. Pink, gaining the attention of Alexandria, something which Pestilence might have deeply wanted, could create interesting character driven plots. If Pink realizes who Pestilence is, she could attempt to once more overcome the gap that once existed between the two with new found motivations (even though Pestilence is using a different type of strength than what Pink knew her for, Pestilence is still obviously stronger - which could help drive Pink).

Pestilence, on the other hand, is a good character as she seems to have a lot of internal conflict.

As for Alexandria, she is a properly handled “over-powered” character. She is strong –“god” like even – but there are moments of weakness, both physically and mentally, which add to her (this said, I hope she doesn’t die because of similar moments if the story continues). As I’ve said though, she does take away from the story a bit because of her general apathy to the events around her. It diminishes the impact of those events.

With this in mind, even though the characters in this story have a lot of potential, particularly Pink (my personal favourite) and Pestilence, they are limited by the extensive use of Alexandria’s point of view. Without changing points of view, the inner workings of the characters are shrouded. Alexandria doesn’t help in this regard, as her apathy towards the world around her does not allow the reader to get a full picture of the characters in that world – after all, the reader is experiencing these characters mostly through her eyes and thoughts.

I hope my criticisms do not drive anyone away from the story. Once More truly is something everyone on this site should check out, even if it is unlikely to be finished. I also hope that I have not offended sinkingship by anything I have said.

Thank you sinkingship for taking the time to write this story. I have enjoyed it over the past couple of days. I will hold hope that the story will eventually pick up, or that you start another on this site.

BlazingSeraph
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I really enjoyed reading this story.

Style: The way it was written wasn't amazing, but wasn't bad either.

Story: I really enjoy the world building and having the MC be the demon goddess basically, is super fun. 

Grammar: Near perfect.

Character: I really like the characters, especially the MC. She is acting exactly as I hoped she would and it's a nice change of perspective to your typical hero perspective.

Lukas Elias
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Everyone that enjoys a powerful and smart MC and a well written story is going to enjoy this.

The style is not really my usual thing but well executed and with a good structure behind it.

I will update this review as I continue reading this story, so far I enjoyed it.

wayfarer
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Good setting hinting further plot, poor characters

Quite an interesting setting the story starts in, following an OP mc that is capable of wiping the field but unwilling to act due to the troubles.

Although it is a bit weird to read about the mc insisting she doesn't care, yet she obviously does while being passive-aggresive about not caring. Not sure if it is intentional on the author's part, but it does add a unique flavour to the story.

No training from weak to strong trope, or the amazing op-ness like onepunch man nor the lazy king. Climax building is quite weak, though the plot does hint at greater possibilities. Characters aren't very interesting nor relatable for now, with a passive-aggresive mc and worshipful/fearful everyone else, but does seem to have some possible growths and some lesbian romance

Jason07
Overall

I love character development so far! A bit of lazy [email protected] meets Alucard, in the best possible way. The narration is excellent, the author is true to keeping things in close 3rd person, and the side characters are handled deftly and well, helping to develop the plot nicely. 

Highly recommended read!

shachlo
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Simply the best in active ranking. Dont see any flaws at all. It's like Overlord with a bit simplified style (not like it's something bad). For people who are not fond of female mc - give it a try anyway, worth it.
Characters are consistent and juicy, pace is even, story goes forward smoothly and not too predictable, overall it's done just right.  Don't know about grammar part much - i'm not really good at english
SPOILER ALERT
Story is about very powerfull demonnes who are awoken because world is crumbling, and she is unable to sleep anymore.  She is woken just to find that her nation is no more and she is one of two remaining people of her kind, so she goes to journey.