----Stories from Here and There----
It is the nature of stories, and perhaps of humans in general, to have places they have been, places they are, and places they are going and to label them. Even the journey in between the three has its roadmarks and memorable moments, points that will be remembered in the future as a particular step on the road from one place to another.
But aside from each of those places, there are innumerable steps on the path, and sometimes the stories that arise in daily life get lost among those steps when compared to the earth shaking events that either precede or follow them. This is a collection of those stories, of little moments in time between the here and the there of the hero’s journey.
---Why I Lie to My Wife About Work---
(Explicit Sexual Content Warning)(Chinese names are written surname/personal name. So a character named Yuan Xiao has the family name Yuan and the personal name being Xiao.)
*Set in Singapore, when Gwen’s loving and very responsible father left his daughter so he could engage in some adult activities.*
“Keep watching,” Control implored. “Do not break scry. Target is exceedingly slippery”
God, I hate my job, Yuan Xiao thought to himself as he said “Affirmative,” in a sad, despairing whimper. “Target is now engaged in coitus.”
“Do you have a visual on the Target’s partners?” Control asked, showing very clearly that there is no god or higher power of any kind, as Xiao had been praying hard that Control would just drop it and let it be.
“Affirmative,” Yuan Xiao said, still miming and pretending to eat the noodles. Damn it, he finally gets to go to and eat these famous noodles, on government dime no less, and now by the time he actually can eat them they will be cold! “Target is with two women, one of Eurasian descent- probably between one hundred fifty eight and one hundred sixty seven centimeters in height and a Malay woman maybe a centimeter or two smaller than the other.”
“Any identifying marks?”
“The Eurasian appears to have a tattoo of serpent- probably related to naga by the looks
of it- around her left leg ending at…” Well, Xiao had gotten a look but that didn’t mean
he wanted to explain it…
Control, of course, demanded it. It was probably Liu on the other end, Xiao thought. Only that man could be this much of an uncomfortable asshole to deal with.
“Ending at her… crotch… Control.” Xiao paid his bill for his sadly uneaten noodles, and left the shop. He needed to be somewhere that didn’t require him to not clench his teeth if Control was going to insist on pulling these details out.
“Understood, we will send you confirmation of their identity as soon as we have it. Keep monitoring Target One, up top wants constant status updates.”
Yuan Xiao would bet every HDM he and his family possessed that top didn’t care and that it was Liu who wanted to know. If he caught the bastard with his hand down his pants, he’d kill him. So what if they sent him to the northern front until he died as punishment? It would be better than this!
“Target is sitting on the bed, females are now kneeling in front of him. Target is now receiving fellatio from both females. Control, note that the Eurasian female has another tattoo, it appears to be a tattoo of lipstick marks on her left buttcheek.”
Suddenly, the scrying magic in his sunglasses indicated magic was being used.
“Confirm Target One casting,” despite everything, Yuan Xiao dropped his other thoughts and devoted his full attention to the scene in front of him. If the Target cast a spell to block divination spells it might be a prelude to a full blown escape. It would not be the first time one of Xiao’s targets had tried to run without pants on, and if need be Xiao was capable of delaying the Target until backup arrived and bringing in the Target that way. Despite the political consequences, the Target had to be brought in no matter what!
Yuan Xiao gathered his mana in preparation, the Target cast his spell, and Yuan Xiao’s high end scrying glasses revealed… They revealed...
“Confirm observation status,” Control sounded nervous with the sudden silence on the other end.
“Target appears to have cast a spell that…” Yuan Xiao hated his coworkers. He hated his job. He hated his country, and indeed, the entire planet. He gathered his focus, steeled his resolve and said, “Target appears to have cast a signature spell that increases the rigidity of his penis.”
Dead silence from Control, at the very least that shut up Liu up for a second. Only for a second though, as he managed to croak out, “Continue observation on Target.”
“Target has ejaculated, the two females appear to be cleaning him and each other.” With their tongues, but Xiao would keep as much of his dignity as he could and operational protocols be damned. Who the hell creates a signature spell that requires an elemental shift just to keep their dick hard after they cum?
“Females are now engaged in oral sex on the bed, Target has moved to vaginally penetrate the shorter female.”
How the hell does the spell even work? Their Target was a salt mage, and no negative energy element is conducive to sexual intercourse, especially for men. It is actually rather incredible the Target managed to get it up at all, not to mention that he was now plowing the two whores like it was going out of style. Elemental shift to water and then, what, keep the blood flowing with that somehow?
“Target is now handcuffing the Eurasian woman to the bed frame,” Xiao had just given up at this point. Nothing mattered anymore. “The other female appears to be pulling out various toys.”
“Handcuffs? Confirm visual.”
“Target is using fluffy pink handcuffs to restrain the Eurasian female while the Malay female is paddling her.”
The night continued on from there in a predictable, if deeply unpleasant for Yuan Xiao, manner. After apprehending the Target the next day, he stopped by the controllers and…
“Liu, you bastard! I knew it was you!”
*The headlines of a tabloid found crumpled up in a wastebin*
Terrorists Attack Sydney Tower, Or Do They!?
8 July 2003
Wake Up People! News!
Surely, dear reader, you have heard the so-called “news,” by now. The powers that be want you to believe that somehow terrorists managed to bypass four magisters, an army of combat mages, the best magical defences money and blood magic can buy, and even the vampires we revealed in our last issue were being hidden by Magister Kilroy! (Or should we call him Count Kilroy, the undead vampire Lord!? They call him Deathless and expect us not to notice!)
They want you to believe the official story in the same way they want you to believe the fluoride added to our drinking water isn’t their as a catalyst to drain the mana from the population and keep the hidden secret that there are no NoM’s, just mages poisoned by the shadow magi that rule our world as hidden puppet masters!
See how it all connects? And what does that connection prove!? Why, nothing less than the real cause of the so called mermen invasion! A battle between the shadow cabal of magi known as the Illuminati and the shape-shifting reptoids from outer space!
They may have cleverly disguised their crafts as a giant serpent and a black sun, but if you follow the evidence… More on page four
Deathless Henry Dead? Or Just The Next Step Of The Plan?
9 July 2003
Wake Up People! News!
Magister Henry Kilroy, or by his real name, Count Henrius Kill Roy- the vampire lord- supposedly died in the so called attack on the tower. Was he collateral damage in the battle between the reptoids and our puppet overlords? Or was Deathless Henry one step ahead of them all? Read our investigative report to find out!
We all know the official story, that Kilroy’s wife died years ago and he chose his apprentice, Gunther, for his talent. Its a story that would easily pass a Diviners Detect Truth spell, but its only there to mislead you! Surrounding the region where Henry Kilroy and his wife lived there were several strange accidents and deaths that became attributed to a vampire, which we all now know as the Deathless Henry Kilroy!
But what really became of his wife? And why did he choose Gunther Shultz as his apprentice? A Radiant and a vampire hardly go together, or don’t they?
Mages can, to a degree, resist the element they are attuned to and there is no reason to believe this doesn’t apply to vampires as well. Enter, Gunther Shultz, apprentice of the vampire lord Henry Kilroy, a Radiant vampire who does not fear the sun! With his enemies discredited or dead, Gunther has seized full control of Sydney- allowing his master to retreat back to Europe and continue his plans to make an army of Radiant vampires to conquer the world!
More on page six
Space/Time Element, Myth or Cover Up?
3 July 2003
Wake Up People! News!
We all know that our magic is restricted on the Frontier, and Wake Up People! News! Has led many an investigation into why such a thing might be allowed and desired by the so-called ruling Magisters. Unlike the presence of vampires and the Draco-Werepire experiments ran by them, this plot is not withheld from the eyes of the public. Every mage knows that everything from our knowledge to our magitech is censored, which even led us to break the news that the Frontier cities might be the only bastions of humanity left- with the so called “Tier One” cities actually being demihuman enclaves that had destroyed and replaced humanity, leaving only the Frontier cities as nature preserves and glorified ranches to raise human cattle.
Recently however, one of our intrepid investigative reporters managed to sneak into Shanghai and another brave soul likewise made it into London. Before they were arrested, they were able to tell us that the majority of the population was, to our surprise, human- aside from the usual percentage of infiltrated shapeshifters, that is- and that it looked like only the upper reaches of the government were demihuman infiltrators.
While our London reporter has been returned to us- and is currently undergoing rigorous testing to ensure that he has not been replaced- our Shanghai contact has disappeared completely, and now we know why!
These restrictions, he concluded, were a distraction from something else. A big target for us all to look at while the real truth was hidden in plain sight. He risked himself in his investigation because he had always been suspicious that something like this was occuring, and it is our honor as a beacon of truth to have worked with a man who may have given his life in the pursuit thereof- whose last message may leave us with the clues we need to unravel this mystery once and for all.
Though garbled by anti-divination magic used in his capture, the last message we received contained the following statement, “Not the only elements.”
Suddenly, our team realized the pieces were falling into place. Many a young mage disappears on the Frontier or receives a null-element or generalist awakening. We know this is partly due to the magic-stealing spirit beings that sometimes collude with the other demihuman factions in the government, but a recent mistake by them led us to discover an even more ominous purpose that when we connected the dots revealed the truth.
Though the minor’s name was omitted, a public school recently gave a student the designation of Null-Element Generalist and yet admitted the student into the Evoker class. Later, that same student would have their information updated to show a Quasi-Element of Lightning and a real talent for Evocation.
It was written off as a mistake, and we do believe it was, just not the mistake they claim. The message we received confirmed our suspicions that certain mages were being singled out and having their status falsified, to hide the existence of a newly discovered element: Time/space magic!
Rumors and theories about such a thing have floated around for years, even centuries, without any confirmed cases of such a mage existing. But perhaps they have been under our nose the whole time, and removed in “accidents” to be brought to the Tier One cities for brainwashing!
Indeed, it only makes sense that the various secret societies at the heart of cabals that rule our government from the shadows rely on Time magic to cement their dominance, while at the same time, fearing it for the power it might grant us in rebellion! Our analysis concludes…
(The article continues, but moisture damage has made anything else illegible.)
---The Timeless Duel---
*This takes place in a time and place that never happened and doesn’t exist, while also took place before, during, and after any and every other point in time and also exists everywhere in the universe as well. To some, it looks like it takes place roughly twice a week, coincidentally whenever a certain story releases a chapter, though only a madman would believe that the battles so destructive that existence itself recoils from them and a certain web novel in a certain world are related*
The Element of Space/Time was an interesting one, the Magus thought to himself as he arrived both late and early to the space-that-was-not-a-space. If you wanted to be technical, the Element did not actually exist and neither did he in this world. He, rather liking existence, was not fussed enough to be technical about it.
Rather than an Element with its own plane and mana, Time/Space was the foundation the other Elemental Planes and Mana were built on- though what that foundation itself sat in was another matter for debate entirely- while at the same time encompassing both concepts and Universal Laws.
Time itself was a very human concept, one only vaguely recognized by the rest of the universe and probably only because almost all living things developed a sense for it, including the non-sentient ones. Strictly speaking, however, that sense was an illusion that whatever a particular creature used for a brain imposed on itself to make sense of the world around it.
Before isn’t a place you can go or a thing you can have or a Law that cannot be violated, it is an arbitrary distinction about a certain point in the grand flow of interactions and reactions that is the universe.
After is not something that is coming, but another arbitrary way of describing another point in that mess of interactions- without any real difference to Before.
Now is more complicated, because it is actually happening, but it cannot be grasped as Now immediately becomes Before and ceases to be.
None of this bothered Oro, because all that mattered is the other people who had arrived to this battlefield. He knew them, if not by name then by their monikers- names being something that are hard to hold on to when you become cut loose from the flow of time and the walls of space.
The mighty Cookiehunter stood ready to combat him, as always. Victory almost always fell to Oro himself or Cookie, sometimes depending on whether or not Oro was willing to bribe Cookie with a cookie. Which he never was, because those cookies were his.
Others would come and join them at times, either other members of the f5 guild of Time/Space mages or just the lucky wanderers, but the occasional loss to a third was just as fleeting as anything else besides them and their duel, which was timeless.
To someone watching from the side, the two did nothing- and that was true of now, but there battle was not now at all, or even here, for that matter.
Mana crashed together Before as the two fought each other in the deep past, traps were laid and swept for in the far future as they struggled with each other After. The ground was rent and the skies became tempests as their battles elsewhere tore through the cosmos, the mighty power of f5 restoring what broke after its passing, refreshing all in the wake of the mighty pair.
They struggled for advantage against each other even as the light built and a shining spark fell from the sky, newly released and bright.
In the Now, they and all the others who had come to be here with them lept for it, hands outstretched for the glory of the victor.
Meanwhile, the creator of the spark looked on- an unknowable being who might either have been a Time/Space mage of unimaginable power or even a God beyond human reckoning. Though the battle below was unnecessary for him, he still shook his head.
“Damn Australian internet,” the being named Wutosama sighed. “These guys are able to post before I even get confirmation that the post happened!”
Hello! I am Vladerag the author of several stories here on Royal Road! I hope you are enjoying whatever you are reading, and I hope you check out some of my stories!
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