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A note from Selkie

Cliff Warning.

 

It was brought to my attention that I'm not plugging the art contest hard enough! Prizes go to the top 5! I have less than 5 submissions right now!

Almost all of them are mango-based. 

Art contest details:

To celebrate hitting 1,000 Patrons (I expect to no longer have this number at the EOD, but hey, celebrate the victories when I can), I'm announcing an art contest for Beneath the Dragoneye Moons!

Everyone can participate! Even if you don't read the story! Granted, you'll have a hard time if you don't read the story, but hey. I don't discriminate.

Winners will be decided 70% by Patreon Voting, 30% by my own judgement. Which is to say, if a poorly drawn mango gets the most votes over an epic high-quality piece, just due to the meme potential, I'll use my own judgement to declare the epic high-quality piece the winner.

There might also be run-offs, depending on how many submissions I get. We'll see!

The prize pool is 550$ (US) split as follows, and will be paid out over Paypal:

1st: 250$

2nd: 150$

3rd: 75$

4th: 50$

5th: 25$

 

Almost anything is fair game for the drawing. Unless it'd cause legal trouble. 

Don't cause the author legal trouble.

Please upload your work to Artstation, DeviantArt, Imgur, or some other hosting site that I can access without an account. That means not Instagram, that means no Pintrest, etc. If I can't see your submission, it might as well not exist.

You can submit more than one submission, but if they're low quality, I'll probably toss all but the one I think is best. AKA Please don't spam me with a bunch of 30 second MS paint drawings. 

Please include in your submission a short description of the piece, the name you'd like to be credited with, and your paypal address in case you win.

All rights are retained by the artists. Winning submissions will be posted on Discord, RoyalRoad, and Patreon. If I want more rights, I'll contact you again in the future.

 

Message me if you've got any more questions!

Cheers, good luck, and have fun!

Selkie

 

 

PS: Book 3 ends on Sunday on Patreon. At which point I'll be taking a little break, before starting book 4. 

I gathered our motley crew together.

“Hey all! Nice to meet you. Why don’t we quickly get familiar with what we all do? I’m Elaine, a [Healer]. I’ve got most of the Light and Dark tricks. You get a problem, talk with me, I’ll patch you up!”

“Brutus.” Brutus grunted, not super social. “Hand to hand combat. Anyone down for a quick brawl? We’ve got a healer on hand.”

Cassia gave him the side eye. “No.”

“Cassia. Knives. Quick and nimble. If it looks like I’m ducking out of a fight – I’m not, I’m either working on a flank, or grabbing Elaine here and getting her somewhere safe – since that’s our main goal.”

“HA!” Brutus roared. “A coward’s way! Just beat up any problem, and she’s safe!”

I missed the Rangers. Dear gods, I missed the Rangers so badly. I was regretting my choices immediately. The sheer lack of professionalism.

Also, ideally, we’d work and train as a team for a few weeks before moving out, getting to know each other and our fighting patterns, but… time was money.

Almost literally, as I’d need to pay more the longer this took.

“Atticus. This here’s Alpha.” He said, pointing to the protoavis on his shoulder. It squawked at all of us, letting us know in no uncertain terms who was boss.

“I know you didn’t really say, but could you at least give us a hint why you wanted an escort to the capital?” Atticus said.

Cassia and I gave him a Look.

“Ok. Imagine you’re the captain of a merchant vessel. Some pint-size girl comes up to you, wanting a ride. What do you say?”

“No? The sea’s no place for a lone woman?” Atticus asked, trying to see the trick in the question.

I facepalmed as Cassia laughed her ass off.

“That’s why she needs a damn escort!” She said. “I heard her trying to arrange for the quest – wanted the bare minimum. You basically just need us to smooth things for you from here to the capital, no?”

“Exactly!” I said. “Also, as to why I’m going to the capital – I live there. I don’t live here. Hence. Needing to get home.”

I looked at Brutus, hulking giant, disappointed that we weren’t going to have a friendly getting-to-know-you brawl. I looked at Atticus, slightly scruffy looking, but otherwise fairly presentable.

I weighed the odds of Brutus making it to the docks and back without a fight.

Nah.

If anything, I’d be taking bets if he got over or under three fights.

Cassia would probably have the same problem I’d have.

“Hey Atticus – can you find and arrange transportation for us on a ship to the capital?”

He looked at me. He looked around, at Cassia flipping knives, and Brutus getting bored and starting to lift his chair as a workout.

“A wise choice. Sure. What’s our budget?”

With a huge amount of stealth I took off my backpack, turned around so the contents were hidden, and started rummaging through it.

Ok, so it was obvious I was trying to keep the contents secret.

I looked at my much-diminished stash of coins. I reserved half a rod’s worth – for my own food – and named how much was left.

“Ehhhh. Yeah lemme see if I can make that work.” He said. “Mind if I head out?”

Alpha squawked at me, letting me know it wasn’t a request. I rolled my eyes at the imperious bird.

“Yeah, go nuts.”

Atticus left, and I looked around. Brutus was now doing pull ups on the doorframe, while Cassia was twirling a knife around with her newly created arm, still looking at it like it was a marvel.

“I still can’t get over this.” She said. “You’ve given me a new lease on life. You sure you don’t need a long-term bodyguard?”

I hesitated.

“Maybe. Let’s talk about it later?”

“Yeah sure.”


I expected there to be a snag, a snafu, some problem. A thief in the night. Atticus running off with the coin, instead of paying passage. A captain who took one look at us and refused passage. Cassia cutting herself as she re-learned her arm. It went almost entirely smoothly, and I found us packing up to leave nearly seven days later.

Seven very boring days.

Hey, it wasn’t every day a merchant was leaving for the capital.

Brutus, predictably, was the problem, as he insulted and tried to brawl nearly everyone on the way to the docks.

Except the guard. He wouldn’t mess with the guards, and that gave me a happy warm smile that I kept to myself. He did flip them off when their back was turned though, which just continued to give me a low opinion of him, and adventurers in general.

I was trying to be nice, to give them a shot without my prejudices showing. It was hard.

After the third brawl with a sailor – we were so close to the boat, dammit! – I had to pull him aside and remind him.

“Look, please, we’re all trying to get to the capital. If the guard gets mad at you, you’ll have to pay the fine yourself.”

He looked stunned at the revelation.

“But I’m guarding you!”

“But I don’t need guarding from someone you pick a fight with!”

“How else could they know you’re not to be messed with! Plus, free healing. Always nice. I can fight all day!”

I pinched the bridge of my nose. Adventurers.

“Look, please just follow along.”

We boarded the boat, and while I hadn’t quite thought of it, I was fine with the arrangement.

Basically, Cassia and I got a room together, and Brutus and Atticus got a room together.

On the other side of the boat.

Not great for escorting me around, but ah well, Cassia was nearby, and I wasn’t expecting problems.

I’d kinda expected to have my own spot by myself, but this worked. I wasn’t going to complain.

We had a quick huddle as we got on board and stashed our stuff.

AKA I kept carrying around all my gear, because I didn’t trust anyone to not rifle through it.

“Captain says it’ll take three weeks to get there. We’re not expected to help, but we’re expected to stay out of the way. Meals are twice a day in the mess, and we’re welcome to join. Might not be the best food, but hey. It is what it is.”

Three weeks!? It had taken Ocean three days!

I looked around the creaking ship. It was big. Four layers of decks, each one loaded down with crates of stuff – trade goods from the town to the capital.

From the smell I was getting – wine. A boatload of wine.

This was also one of the larger trading vessels I’d seen.

Made sense to be so slow…? Maybe?

Heck if I knew.

“Sounds good.” I said.

“Also…” Atticus said, then looked at me, looked at Cassia’s knives, and hesitated.

“What?”

He took a step back.

“CaptainSaidNotToTemptTheSailorsThisIsAShipNotABrothel.” He spat out as fast as he could, then turned and ran.

Cassia was most certainly a physical class, specializing in both speed and dexterity. I’m pretty sure she stabbed extra-hard, and poked him a few times more than she normally would, on the basis of me being around.

First day – first hour – and we were already leaving blood on the planks.

Wonderful.

This trip was going to go swimmingly.


Our cabin was tiny, and we didn’t even have beds, just a pair of hammocks. Didn’t even have anywhere to store our stuff, just a few ropes tied to the wall.

“Usually this is the 3rd mate’s quarters.” Cassia happily told me, expertly tying her bag to the wall. “Nice of them to let us have it.”

Uh huh. Nice.

Well, nothing for it.

I tied my bag to the wall, blessing Ocean for having given me a crash course on knots, even though I remembered like, three. I know he’d taught me a better knot for this, but I had no idea what it was.

“I’m not one to pry…” Cassia said.

“But you’re going to pry.” I said with a sigh.

She held her hands up in surrender.

“I just wanna know if whoever owns your armor knows you have it, and will be coming after us! Is it some soldier that you’re on the run from? Oooh! Or is there some romantic story! Tell me everything!” She said, eyes gleaming.

I gave her a flat look.

“… how about knucklebones?” She suggested.

Meh. Anything to change the topic.

Cassia wrecked me. I’d forgotten just how badly I lost at physical games of skill.

She didn’t even need to cheat!


I ended up spending most of my time in my cabin, bored, going more than slightly nuts from the boredom. The ever-present wine fumes didn’t help, and if it wasn’t for sleeping under [Veil of the Aurora], I believed I’d wake up tipsy. I’d specifically excluded alcohol from my [Persistent Casting], wanting to have the option of getting drunk now and then, knowing I could always purge it with [Phases of the Moon] if needed.

And bonus! I never needed to worry about liver damage or anything else like that! Being a healer was awesome.

When I did wander out now and then, Atticus and Brutus were, to their credit, always somewhat around, and we’d all eat our meals together. “Sailor Slop” it was called, and I eyed the mess somewhat uneasily before figuring that I’d eaten worse during hell months, and that I could heal myself if it ended up being that badly poisoned.

The fact that I tucked into it with only a moment of hesitation seemingly won me high marks in the mysterious calculations of the sailors. Which led to them propositioning me and Cassia. Which led to Brutus happily, cheerfully, and entirely unbidden “defending” us – usually with his fists.

I didn’t need “defending”, nor did Cassia! Blasted unprofessional adventurers.

Which led to an unhappy captain. Despite the fact that I healed everyone up.

And since it was touch-based, the sailors quickly got it in their head of “sexually harass Elaine, get touched by her after a short beating”

Perverts.

Which led to me spending all my time in the cabin, to minimize more problems.

 

Which led to me not noticing the mist rolling over the boat.

Which led to me missing the non-existent sound of a ship creeping through the waves towards us.

Which led to me not hearing the cloth-wrapped footsteps of pirates landing on the deck, three at a time.

No, the first time I became aware of any of this, realized there was a problem, was when the door burst open, and Atticus and Brutus slowly backed into the room, making it cramped beyond belief. It was hard to see past them, especially as we got pushed all the way to the back of the room, my back pressed against the hull, but I could see some brightly colored slashes of cloth, swords, and mean, gravely noises.

“Alright! Hands in the air, where we can see them!” A nasty voice came through. “We’re the Silver Manacles! Resist and be run through!”

Joy. Pirates.

“You lot are adventurers, right?”

“R-right.” Atticus stuttered out, his protoavis completely silent.

“What are you lot doing here?”

“E-e-escorting her.” Atticus said, pointing to me.

Somehow a minor gap appeared, and the pirates could now see me.

The lead pirate had no parrot, no eyepatch, no peg leg, I was disappointed. Instead he just looked hungry and mean, and was eyeing me up with no small amount of glee.

“A pretty [Healer]! I’ve always wanted me one of those!” He said.

“Right then. You lot have a quest or some shit to move her, right?”

“R-r-right.” Atticus said.

I was starting to see why he was only level 150. Complete fear in the face of adversity.

“Well, there’s thirty of us, and three of you. How about we pay you to stand down, we’ll tie you up or some shit, and you can claim you tried and failed. We’re doing the same with the sailors – only taking half their shit, and nobody dies.”

Atticus’s head bobbled like it had lost all bones. Brutus just folded his arms.

Cassia, bless her, stepped in.

“And you promise nothing will happen to me?”

Aaaaand there went my evaluation of her.

The pirate eyed her up.

“Yeah, no, nothing.”

“Fine.” She said.

“I fixed your arm!” I cried in protest, unable to believe the treachery.

She shot me a sympathetic look.

“I know. I’m sorry. But there’s nothing I can do.”

I looked to Brutus.

“I love a good brawl. But one against forty? I can’t do that. Nobody can win one against fifty.”

“Ha! Hear that missy? Now come along, real quiet like, and this will be over soon enough.”

 

I looked around the tiny, cramped room. The three adventurers, with Cassia the only one showing an ounce of shame. The pirates, leering at me, promising a terrible end.

I unhooked the clasp of my cloak, letting it fall to the ground, rolling my shoulders, getting ready for a fight.

“Fucking useless adventurers.”

[Name: Elaine]

[Race: Human]

[Age: 18]

[Mana: 49920/49920]

[Mana Regen: 40656 (+13370)]

Stats

[Free Stats: 40]

[Strength: 236]

[Dexterity: 203]

[Vitality: 560]

[Speed: 480]

[Mana: 4992]

[Mana Regeneration: 4708 (+1337.072)]

[Magic Power: 4351 (+44815.3)]

[Magic Control: 4351 (+44815.3)]

[Class 1: [Constellation of the Healer - Celestial: Lv 244]]

[Celestial Affinity: 244]

[Warmth of the Sun: 199]

[Medicine: 210]

[Center of the Galaxy: 236]

[Phases of the Moon: 244]

[Moonlight: 244]

[Veil of the Aurora: 212]

[Vastness of the Stars: 139]

[Class 2: [Ranger-Mage - Radiance: Lv 180]]

[Radiance Affinity: 180]

[Radiance Resistance: 180]

[Radiance Conjuration: 180]

[Radiance Manipulation: 180]

[Sun-Kissed: 142]

[Blaze: 180]

[Talaria: 161]

[Nova: 180]

[Class 3: Locked]

General Skills

[Identify: 136]

[Recollection of a Distant Life: 159]

[Pretty: 135]

[Bullet Time: 189]

[Oath of Elaine to Lyra: 206]

[Sentinel's Superiority: 201]

[Persistent Casting: 48]

[Learning: 244]

 

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A note from Selkie

What's the point of hiring an escort if they're just going to roll over and hand you over the first time someone asks?

 

From their point of view - "Welp, we're totally dead, let's try to save our own skin because resistance is futile." They're not wrong, but Elaine naturally has a slightly different view on the topic.

 

I did some minor experimenting with this chapter. Generally, I keep the entire story 1st person limited, but I wanted a little tiny omniscience here, so I dabbled in it.


If you could give me an advanced review, that'd be great. They're weighted more heavily than anything else, and I've been looking carefully at trending - it's clear that the rating the novel has is super important. Hence, advanced reviews help me go up in the trending list. They help more people see it, which gets more people rating and following it, which has a synergistic effect that hopefully turns into a runaway effect, which gets enough people interested that I get to do this full-time. Seriously, it matters, and it helps.

BTDEM is bog standard in many ways. However, I'm willing to do things that turn some readers off - and so far, more of my reviews have been from people that I make mad more than people who are happy. Just how the internet works. I'm hoping some of you that are enjoying things are willing to leave reviews or advanced reviews. They matter. You matter.

Help keep BTDEM going - it's as simple as rating, as easy as reviewing.

Or you can help pay my rent, which is a MUCH more direct way of keeping things going! Sign up for Patreon! Buy a book!

PS: Signing up for Patreon gets access to all book ePubs.

Discord for chatting: https://discord.gg/GStatMC

Now, if you'd like to help me pay my rent, you can! With 10 advanced chapters, bonus chapters, bonus worldbuilding content, discord roles, and more!

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/SelkieMyth

Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/selkiemyth


I'm on top web fiction! Vote here! Elaine will share a mango with you if you vote!


 

Book 1 of Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is for sale on Amazon! Click Here to be taken to it!

Book 2 of Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is for sale on Amazon! Click Here to be taken to it!

Book 3 of Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is for sale on Amazon! Click Here to be taken to it!


 


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Selkie

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