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A note from Dragorule

URGH 

AGAIN I PROCRASTINATED!

It's not me that's wrong! It's the world that's wrong! 

 

"Then Lierta fell asleep from exhaustion. The next morning the eye was gone."

Oh. So then, it was ok?

"That night however, the eye returned."

Oh no! Or oh yes?

"This time, it looked at her when she waved her hand near it. The rest was the same as the last night. Then, the next day, there were two eyes. And both watched her now. The next day, the eyes were still there in the morning. They did not change more, and by the next week, she was used to its presence."

That was...good?

"Then one day, she heard something...shifting under her bed. The bed creaked and groaned as it was forced to move to accommodate the thing underneath. Lierta, feeling scared tried to run, but a mass of hands grabbed her and lifted her up, so that she could see down into the reddish maw of the thing. Then, it ate her."

Hmmmm. These stories ended in death a lot. Even before, like the story demon's stories. Or even sun's dumb one.

"After that, it disappeared, leaving the family fearful of the thing. Word was spread and they learned its name - The Watcher. It came to its prey and watched them, slowly moving its body to the prey. Until one day, it would eat it. Lierta was just another of its victims."

Wait so the Watcher could be under Styx's bed right now? Or even some other place with a bed, right now, getting ready to eat someone?

It already looked with its actual body, but just to be sure, it looked with its physical one too. As it thought - no, knew - there was no weird eye under the bed.

"That's why, if you see an eye under your bed, you throw it out. Or go to a new room, possibly house if the eye doesn't stop following you."

That sounded very bad. Styx was laughing though. Why?

"You know it's just a story right? I mean, the odds of that thing picking you out of the millions of choices is really low right?"

Wait so the Watcher was real?

"Alright, next one! Hey you know, these stories really are actually quite educational if you're a kid."

No wait, before that - Styx what was that about the Watcher?

"Once upon a time there was -"

Styx was stopped when the door opened again and a new demon walked in. This one looked like...an orange sun. Which was actually closer to the actual sun...hmmmm. Sun should get a name faster...also. So. The Watcher was real. 

An enemy it wasn't sure it could kill. How did it come under the bed? If it was it doing that - it wouldn't have stayed under the bed for that long and just killed the demon. That was if there was even any reason for it, when really, it could probably get better experience from killing a group of wolves then just one demon every now and then. Why would the Watcher act like that?

That it couldn't know how or why it did that annoyed it. And that it could just come under its bed without it knowing was worse. 

"- there was -" Styx went to just continue but the other demon who had been just there and looking at Styx started talking loudly when Styx didn't talk to it. 

"Don't just ignore me! Say hi or something! Also, you just got back and already deepened your enmity with good l' what's his name. Nice." 

The demon closed the door and then put his back on it, but Styx didn't seem to care about the orange one and went back to the book, so it did too. If Styx who was definitely more usable for talking to other people type things than sun didn't care about orange one then it didn't have to either.

"Yes. Hello. Ah, there was a giant -"

"So. Who's the new guy? DO WE HAVE A NEW DORMIE!?"

The orange one looked really happy at that but, well, not caring and all, so it looked at Styx and waited for him to continue. 

As it thought, Styx also looked annoyed as he turned back to the orange one, "Yes. It probably won't need a bunk. Though it would be better if we had some cloth to pad it with so it doesn't damage the floor too much, but don't touch it unless you want to die."

What? It wouldn't kill that fast...though, the cloth idea was probably real since it was true that it slowly ate into the things around it still. Which hadn't been that bad, aside from making holes in the ground when it was in one place too long out back, but here...it didn't have a lot of space to move around on...

Well, the floor wouldn't be eaten through from the feel of it. There was mana in it that made it very hard to eat into. So. Probably it would be fine, as long as it wasn't properly trying to eat through. Which was why it was fine after sitting with the books for so long. 

Though, looking back, it hadn't remembered until just now when Styx talked...this could be bad. It didn't always remember everything all at once...or keep it remembered at all. The bit about it eating into the ground wasn't remembered when the stories were started. 

Orange looked at it and then slowly went around it while staying at the wall before getting to the bed with many clothes dropped around it and generally looking less put together than Styx's bed. 

At first it thought it would stay quiet now, but then it started talking again. Apparently, it wasn't very scared of it...maybe trying to do the eye thing? 

"So, what are the books for?"

"Reading." 

"No, I mean - you know what I mean!"

 

 

 Orange was obviously not going to be fun...go away orange. Die. 

Too bad it couldn't do that though...wait, could it?

No. That one was for Wexel. Not demons in general...so no, it couldn't. 

"This one here, no name and mute, wanted to. I will be reading to it and would appreciate no interruptions from you. Good? Ok. Right. So, there was a giant foot - by the way, these guys are common in the deeper areas of the Voidlands - that stepped into a clearing, waking the small demon sleeping there."

Oh, yes, it could see that. The small demon didn't look very dangerous next to the giant foot though...the foot was way bigger than the demon after all. Obviously, it was going to die.

"The giant looked down, spotting him and went crouched down to look at him."

And then splatted it with a hand or just ate it right?

"'I am bored. Puny one, you shall entertain me today. If you answer my question right, I will spare you, and if not then I will eat you,' it said."

Eh, so more or less what it thought. Eating was eating.

"The demon stood, nodding once the only indication of his attention. The giant, arrogant as it was, went on to speak its question, 'What am I going to do to you? If you guess correctly then I will let you go, if you guess wrong then...well, we've already been over that.' The giant threw back its enormous head and laughed, confident that it would win."

That was fine and all, but...was it normal to take so much time to do something? It just didn't seem very smart to do, when the giant could kill it anyway...

Styx looked its way, "Guess. I'll give you a minute. Just in your head obviously."

The orange one behind it talked before it could. "Isn't it obvious? He'll eat him!"

Actually, that was obvious, and the orange one was probably right.

Styx looked at the orange one hard for a bit and then moved his hand around, "The point of this was to let it think. It, not you."

"Yeah, yeah. I mean, I can't sleep while you're talking now can I? What do you expect me to do?"

The orange one was already lying down like he was going to sleep, but it was true that he was not asleep. And it wasn't sure it got why. If it wanted to not listen to something it could. And did. A lot. Usually without actually meaning to.

Like thinking really hard...

"I can hit you over the head really hard if you'd like? Anyway, ahem, the small demon answered, 'eat me.' The giant laughed, 'Wrong. I don't eat people!' And with that he left. The giant never had any intention of carrying out its threat."

...That was...not what it thought would have happened. But, looking at it another way...there hadn't actually been anything to say that it would really do that. Other than him saying it...but, then, what about the part about eating him if he got it wrong? Didn't that mean the question was...useless? 

"There are giants who eat demons and the like though. Just so we're clear. By the way, the demon in this story was kept unnamed, because it's like, a way so that you can think that you're like him. Get it?"

No. But ok. 

"Uh, next is -"

The orange one got up from where it was to look at Styx. "You know. If you're trying to make it learn...uh, smarter? Then you might as well just teach it to read so it can do that on its own, without having to have you read the book to it."

That was also true. And would be nice.

"That's...doable. Except that it can't talk so I wouldn't know if it can or can't...well, not without checking each word separately."

"Which is doable. Like this," the orange one got up and walked over while taking the book from Styx, opening it to a random form and putting it in front of it, "try to read this first word, and then nod when you think you know what it would sound like."

It looked hard at the first word. It looked like 'once.' It had seen that enough times in the book where Styx was reading from to know that it was 'once.' So it nodded at orange one, who was now obviously much better than it thought it was.

"Once. Is that what you got?"

It nodded. 

Orange also nodded and moved his hand to a different word. "Same thing."

That was...'upon.' Again. This book really liked that word. It also had words it used a lot though so it wasn't like that was bad or it didn't really understand. 

It nodded and orange one continued, "Upon. Well, whatever I'm too lazy for this, but just let it flip through the thing itself and come ask you when it gets stuck on a word. That saves us time and effort. Also probably better than just reading to it."

Styx nodded slowly. He had been watching that part so he seemed to think the way orange did. So did it. It wasn't against this idea. It seemed ok, seeing as it could still ask whenever it didn't know anything, so it nodded at Styx.

He hit it lightly on the arm top, "Alright. I'm gonna try to sleep so ask orange if you need help. You can flip through whatever book you want so yeah. Ok. I'm out."

He walked over and dropped onto the bed, falling asleep as he did. Lierta helped.

Orange got up and started talking loudly about how dumb and stupid and evil and retarded Styx was but then someone hit the door lightly and orange went quiet. It then just went to the bed and held its head. 

"I regret everything."

That's fine. Just say the word when it asked.

So it looked at the book.

'the time. There was a...giant?' That sounded right.

'He was a very...scary?' It had heard the word before and the sounds of the letters here were...maybe it was scary?

It went over to orange and hit it lightly on the arm top.

It looked over to where its hand was and said the word before holding its head again, "Scary."

'Big and...bad. He would go down from the...mountain and kill many things just for fun, to have a...good fight. One day, he came down from the mountain...and saw a demon...(walling? Walking? Probably.) walking by and went to kill it as...' Again? Another word it didn't know.

It hit the orange one the same way again. He looked over and then sighed after looking. "Per usual."

Ok. 

The orange one was lying down now, but not asleep. It couldn't be sure since it hadn't seen the orange one asleep before so it had nothing to check with, but the orange one's eyes being open meant it was awake for sure...probably. So it had time.

'per usual...and to...make it more fun, it...made loud...'

Orange.

"Noises..."

Ok. 

'noises as it walked over. But the demon didn't look scared and it...asked him why. The demon looked up at the giant and...'

Orange!

"Laughed."

'laughed. He told the giant, "That's because, you're already dead!" The giant looked very...'

"Angry."

'angry at that, but when it...tried to move its...arm? It...'

"Realized..."

'realized that it couldn't. The giant...slowly...'

"Toppled."

'toppled over from where it was with...bloody...'

"Froth."

'coming from its mouth. The demon had...'

"Poisoned...oh, this one."

Orange readed this one before?

'poisoned...(Not 'oh, this one' next, right? Probably not.) the...'

"Air."

'air...(Are. Und? Areund?...The place...around! Around it!) around it and killed the giant with it. Then the demon...'

"Disappeared off into the sunset..."

OK! Next!


It was on the third story that the orange one touched its arm top lightly, but actually held it hard.

"Look. I need to sleep. II'm not going to survive tomorrow without at least five hours of sleep to stay conscious. Just. Read on your own. You can skip words you don't know and from the sound and what words you do know, just guess what would fit into the sentence, ok? Or, better yet -"

The orange started looking for something under its bed and pulled out a book, giving it over to it.

"This is dictionary. Ugh. I mean, this is a dictionary. There are pictures and useful words. Read this if you don't want to finish that one or can't. Ok? Bye."

Then the orange was also asleep.

Leaving it alone to sit there and read. Which was ok. The problem was that whatever the orange did when he went down also turned the light off.

Somehow. It didn't know light was something that could really be turned off anyway but then this wasn't under the sun and still had light so maybe that was not what it should be looking at? Whatever it was, for a bit, it couldn't read and was worried but then it remembered that it didn't need the light to see. 

But, it couldn't see as well here. The letters in the book were not in mana and that made it hard to see properly. 

It could kind of see when it put the book very close to its eyes though. They made some light. A little bit. 

Something that it was happy for since it seemed that it couldn't actually read in no light. Well, that was definitely making the light harder to find too hideous, though it definitely was.

That didn't matter much though so it looked hard at the next 'Once upon a time.'


It made it through the book. Badly. It had some words that it couldn't read. It could kind of feel it though.

It knew a lot of the words that came up a lot. Words like of, were, are, is, probably, kill, all that came up a lot.

The new ones like poisoned - which it didn't understand even if it could read it when it saw it now - were also useful, but just like poisoned it didn't really always understand the word. 

What did poisoning mean? How did that kill the giant when the demon didn't even do anything? Whatever it was would be useful to be able to do as well, since if it could kill people through just the air around it, it would probably be very dangerous.

More than it was now. And also in danger, because if poison worked on it, then it could die without knowing. Unless it was - actually that would make a lot of sense - magic. If poison was a magic though then it was fine. 

It would at least see it coming. Though that didn't mean it could stop it.

Like the fireball. That would have killed it if it hit when it was...before wisp. Even as a wisp.

Now? A fireball wouldn't really make it lose too much of its actual body. Though it might still do a lot of damage to its physical one. 

But what about void mana? The place with lots of it almost killed it when it tried to fight all the void mana together. 

That is, if the poison mana was strong or a lot like that, then it would die. So, basically, what it was learning was that the world was even more dangerous then it thought.

Giants for one, seemed to be pretty dangerous. If bigger meant stronger, and it was pretty sure it did...though demons were weird, then a giant could hit very hard.

The stories themselves were pretty fun too though. 

Except that there were more things like the Watcher around. 

Like this one that was a black hole that would slowly eat everything. That was something it would definitely have to fight then.

Then there was this thing where it would just come out of the ground and eat you. 

The worst was this one where there was a giant moving through the up monster that could make fire and kill many demons.

Basically the world was full of things that could kill it.

It could die right now if there happened to be - it fastly looked under both beds - the Watcher around.

What an easy-to-die-in world.

Spoiler: Status

 

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About the author

Dragorule

Bio: I like dragons. Ergo, I refuse to even put them in my novels unless they're suitably OP. I'm also perpetually tired and lazy. That is all.

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