Daybreak on Hyperion

by Aorii

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Traumatising content

Born into prestige and gifted with talent, Pascal was a promising officer cadet whose deeds caught even the King's gaze. At the mere age of twenty, he had everything a young, ambitious man could need to begin a promising career.

Except his habitual arrogance had destroyed every opportunity of a close friendship outside his political marriage.

Seeking a companion who meets his protracted list of requirements, Pascal decided to craft the 'perfect spell' for the upcoming familiar ceremony. If those around him were not fit to accompany his genius, then he would summon a best friend through his own hands -- one that was mature, intelligent, knowledgeable, bright, and cute as well.

He received far more than he bargained for... and in turn, so did the shifting geopolitical power balance of his world.


*****

Disclaimer:

This is not a power-fantasy or a 'feel-good' story. If you feel that a protagonist should never lack agency (especially in early story) or make compromises due to difficult circumstances, then this fiction is probably not for you.

Daybreak is a story that delves deep into real world sociological/psychological subjects and explores many topics of gray morality. I wrote it because I like stories that makes me think more about the world around us, not to detach myself from reality.

Some things you can expect include:

- [Ruling Class]: political drama, geopolitical/geoeconomic strategy
- [High Fantasy]: how magic changes the sociotechnological evolution of civilization
- [Genderbender]: exploration of gender identity, gender role, and discussion of social expectations
- [Progression]: career capital accumulation and rank ladder-climbing
- [War and Military]: massive battles featuring in-depth planning, combined arms, and operational logistics

For anyone who'd like to see character art and world maps please visit my blog.

Cover art by Nanang (lineart) + AbsolutePower (coloring)

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Aorii

Aorii

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Volume 1 Chapter 1 – The Curse of Prodigy ago
Volume 1 Chapter 2 – By the Runelord’s Will ago
Volume 1 Chapter 3 – Master and Familiar ago
Volume 1 Chapter 4 – Regressions of Time ago
Volume 1 Chapter 5 – Status of Life ago
Volume 1 Chapter 6 – A Peaceful Day ago
Volume 1 Chapter 7 – The Perfect Contrast ago
Volume 1 Chapter 8 - Inquisitive Hope ago
Volume 1 Chapter 9 - Bonds of Faith ago
Volume 1 Chapter 10 - Critical Appeal ago
Volume 1 Chapter 11 - For Country, Not You ago
Volume 1 Chapter 12 - Better Late Than Never ago
Volume 1 Chapter 13 - A World of Difference ago
Volume 1 Chapter 14 - Outbreak of War ago
Volume 1 Epilogue ago
Volume 1 Extra Chapter 1 - Switched Perspectives ago
Volume 1 Extra Chapter 2 - Magic and Hierarchy ago
Volume 2 Chapter 1 - By the Crossroad Shores ago
Volume 2 Chapter 2 - Gendered Recollections ago
Volume 2 Chapter 3 - The Oriflamme Princess ago
Volume 2 Chapter 4 - Council of War ago
Volume 2 Chapter 5 - A Royal Eccentricity ago
Volume 2 Chapter 6 - The Third Wheel ago
Volume 2 Chapter 7 - Pecking Order ago
Volume 2 Chapter 8 - Logistical Wizardry ago
Volume 2 Chapter 9 - Strategic Ambition ago
Volume 2 Chapter 10 - Homecoming in Nordkreuz ago
Volume 2 Chapter 11 - Realigning Interests ago
Volume 2 Chapter 11.5 Interlude - The Coming Storm ago
Volume 2 Chapter 12 - Late Night Confidence ago
Volume 2 Chapter 13 - Heroic Legacy ago
Volume 2 Chapter 13.5 Interlude - Chaos Rising ago
Volume 2 Chapter 14 - The Storm Front ago
Volume 2 Chapter 15 - Massive Strike ago
Volume 2 Chapter 16 - Decisive Action ago
Volume 2 Chapter 17 - Desperate Assault ago
Volume 2 Chapter 18 - Baptism of Fire ago
Volume 2 Chapter 19 - Hail the Black Dragon ago
Volume 2 Chapter 20 - What A General Needs ago
Volume 2 Epilogue ago

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Rozenkreiza
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What is the the other side of Futurology? It is the desire to ask the question "What if?" on a historical topic, something that happened in the past. The desire to model that past with a new variable. There are no "what ifs" in history, but there are in fiction, and some of them are really good.

Like this one, the Daybreak on Hyperion. The author who was obviously interested in history, asked themself a question - "What if" and that question was interesting enough to give birth to this project.

This is one of those not so often seen reads, where magic meets actual, proper history, and together they form a pretty interesting union. It studies social constructions, the differences between them, gender roles in society, economical, geopolitical and other topics in the envisioned, modelled world called Hyperion.

Just as history, the genderbender in the story is used as a tool, to discuss and study society standing, the initial reception, the inevitable change that it brings, the difficulties one can discover once placed in an unknown, uncommon, uncomfortable enviroment. It helps to provide multiple layers of questions and attempts to answer them, enriches the created modelled world.

The story has a slow start, but gets going nicely and it does not feel stretched, a good pacing, common and much needed for historical fiction. It provides the context, allows you to study the characters. Overall well written and is enjoyable to read.

The character design and development are also great. When i think about characters as a reader, i usually devide them into three categories: Those with whom i can associate myself, accept them and understand them. Those with whom i argue, i disagree and can have an inner dialogue. And those that can be just cast aside. To my enjoyment, this novel has none of the third category, which gives us a good roster of characters, who are well written, motivated and have different and sometimes unique perspective on the events.

I am no expert in the grammar field, as i am not a native English speaker. But i had no problem reading it and enjoying it, and i did not see grammatical mistakes that would catch my eye.

Very enjoyable read for those, who strive to imagine things based on research, studies and ideas. I cannot recommend this to people who want to find themselves something "light" to read though, for those people this novel can still be a joy to read, but not something that they search for.

 

kanadaj
Overall

I've read Daybreak a few years ago when it was originally posted on Baka-Tsuki, and was very happy to learn that Aorii has finally started posting it again. The story intentionally takes a serious, darker tone with a lot of thought and research being put into it, with references to various cultures, in-depth geopolitics and various moral issues.

A whole slew of societal issues come into play with the story - it's dealing with nobility of a foreign world; as such, the morals and actions of characters of a completely different culture are viewed through the eyes of a character who herself doesn't quite align with western thinking; rather she is a tad bit more cynical, like Eastern Europeans or Russians, so it may just rub people wrong, especially if you stop reading very early before Kaede has the chance to look at her situation for real. But at the same time, it's a great opportunity to inspect cultural and moral issues from a unique point of view.

If you're here for the power creep, you won't find any here. But if you want something interesting, different and well written, then you are in the right place.

P.S. Yes, Pascal is an asshole. And if anything is as per the original version, it's gonna take a while for him to grow out of that.

Vitaly S Alexius
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Daybreak on Hyperion! This is one of Kana's top favourite stories, now on Royal Road. How has Kanadaj brought this book on here? How many gemstones did he bribe Aorii with from his hoard? Will we ever know?

Update: Kana said no hoard bribes were made because dragons hoard not dispense.

Now my dear review observer, don't dare question the earliness of this review because Daybreak has been running for eons on its own before coming here. And by eons I mean since 2013. I've read this series ages ago, when Kanadaj linked me to it.

If you're an old fan also note - this is an updated, better version of the series with new content!

But enough with questioning how and why this book is on here.  Daybreak on Hyperion is a true masterpiece if there ever was one. Everything about it is absolutely top notch. Spelling/grammar is absolutely perfect.

Pascal Kay Lennart von Moltewitz is an ambitious, rational twenty year old noble - a son of a military official. He is betrothed to the Crown Princess.

He is a postgraduate student and an assistant of a professor at the Alisia Academy of Magic. Pascal decides to be fancypants and summons himself an irregular familiar - not an animal, but a smart-ass human, who could be as clever as he is, but also not totally obedient to him and a cute girl too. What he summons is a best friend!

STYLE: The story was originally written to imitate the style of a Japanese light novel. A lot of the comedy in this series comes from the fact that the isekai hero of this tale Kaede [the familiar] is a Russian boy who is shoved into the body of a magical girl who is also a power battery for Pascal. Personally, I find this hilarious. Being Russian is often about being shoved into questionable, misfortunate situations [such as being sent to build cities in Siberian wilderness] and dealing with it.

SHINY THINGS:

The magical system is legit, complex and interesting.

The world of hyperion is fun and original - it doesn't have a moon. Instead it has a companion planet with an indigo colour.

CHARACTERS:

Well developed, rational, deep and adorable. Pascal has to deal with consequences of summoning a girl familiar and Kaede has to deal with being stuck in a girl's body. Hilarity ensues.

CONCLUSION:

Dive into, lose yourself in this book and then come back here and give Aorii your love and hugs shaped like reviews and comments, cus we definitely need more awesome writers on Royal Road!

Barque
Overall

If you can't read sad, or depressing, or frustrating things like me, than this is not for you,

This story is well written, I say this because the story made me feel! After I dropped this story I couldn't stop thinking about it for days and if anything that is a testament to the strength of the writing.

Hands down the best parts of the story IMO are the political and historical sections, these parts are just down right interesting. 

Aethling
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Binged the Entire Story in Three Days

Reviewed at: Volume 2 Chapter 9 - Strategic Ambition

To preface my review, I would like to say that Daybreak on Hyperion displays a level of quality that is rarely seen in hobby writing. The topics that it touches on are somewhat controversial in nature, but I believe that the author does an amazing job of touching on these subjects with all the respect and thoughtfulness that they are due. With all that said, I will now move on to the actual review.

 

Style:

Aorii writes in the third person, which I believe to be the best point of view for engaging storytelling. Even more importantly, the author has an admirable grasp of both history and geopolitics which they masterfully weave into their story. To say that I was impressed by the depths of the author's knowledge would be an understatement.

Now, I don't know too much about style in general, so I won't profess to be an expert on the subject. I am; however, a very prolific reader. I have a good grasp of what is and isn't a good story pretty quickly, not accounting for taste. The author's word choice is on point throughout the entire work. This combined with a serious political/military tone interspersed with tidbits of comedy makes for a very amusing read. Finally, Aorii's use of syntax is easily comparable to professional authors. I wouldn't be surprised if their career is that of an English professor.

 

Story:

The story of Daybreak on Hyperion takes a common theme in anime but adds an interesting and amusing twist. The protagonist of the story, Kaede, is ripped from his life and thrown into a confusing and fantastical world. This occurs right after he's accepted to a prestigious university in Japan. Suffice it to say, Kaede is not happy with his summoner, the charismatic and brilliant, Pascal. To make matters worse, Kaede is summoned into the body of an adorable girl who looks to be around fifteen years of age.

Now, I know the gender-bender aspect of the story might turn some people away, but trust me, Aorii makes it work.

Pascal isn't surprised to find that he's summoned a cute girl instead of an animal or magical creature. Unlike most stories in this genre, summoning another human being as a familiar was fully intended by the brilliant, but also prideful and lonely Pascal. Kaede takes some time and a little explosive venting, but eventually she grows accustomed to her new life in the fantastical land of Hyperion.

This brings me to the plot itself. Hyperion was originally intended to be something along the lines of a romantic comedy, but Aorii found themselves writing a heavy political/military story instead. What's interesting is that the author still managed to fit in comedic and dare I say cute moments to break up the oftentimes serious political and military side of the story. Furthermore, these scenes are in no way forced. They belong in the story just as much as the serious bits.

Speaking of the story, I still haven't addressed the plot itself. The setting of the story, initially, is inside of a magic academy where Pascal is one of the most gifted students. The first part of the story can be summed up as Kaede acting as Pascal's familiar and familiarizing herself with the academy and the world of Hyperion. In this time, she befriends a number of friends in the academy and even contributes to the foiling of a dastardly plot. Soon after the story shifts to the capital of the empire that Kaede finds herself in, and the politics/military side of things comes more into play.

I could summarize the entire plot in this review, but I don't want to spoil anything for future readers. To it simply, the plot is detailed and a joy to read. Go, read it. You won't be disappointed.

 

Grammar:

In terms of grammar, this story sets the bar that every other story on this site should follow. The grammar is amazing and I was never torn out of the story because of any form of spelling or grammar mistakes. Simply put, the grammar of this story is without fault that I can find.

 

Character:

One of the strongest points of Daybreak on Hyperion is the characters. You have Kaede who is a Russian/Japanese boy turned cute fifteen-year-old girl. She had been accepted to Tokyo University and planned on majoring in history and media studies. Her knowledge and love of history play a crucial role throughout the story. In addition to making her a valuable assistant and advisor to her master, the brilliant and prideful, Pascal.

Pascal is a brilliant, creative, charismatic, prideful, and arrogant man who is very isolated at the onset of the story. This is because he expects perfection from himself and those around him. Anyone who doesn't meet his lofty expectations isn't worth his time or consideration. Predictably, this attitude of his doesn't make him many friends. But Kaede slowly changes him into a better man as the story progresses.

While Kaede and Pascal are undoubtedly the main characters of the story; there are also a number of fleshed-out supporting characters that are introduced throughout the story. I might edit this review later and cover one or two of the supporting characters, but this will be the end for now.

Overall:

Daybreak on Hyperion is a story that touches on a number of serious and heavy topics. It has an engaging story and an entertaining cast of characters. The worldbuilding is masterfully done, and the grammar is impeccable. This is currently my favorite story on the site.

P.S. If you go to the author's WordPress, then you can read all the way up to volume three, chapter three. Please leave some love for them on there. <3

P.P.S. I've seen comments from some people who claim that they have to suspend their disbelief when it comes to Kaede being so accepting of her new body. Firstly, Kaede is not from a western country. He was raised in a different culture, with different values. Secondly, not every person is either male or female. There are so many shades of grey between the two absolutes that it isn't even funny. To me, Kaede dealt with the situation she found herself in admirably. Finally, there are some who are annoyed by Pascal and Sylvi's seeming objectification of Kaede. To those people, I'd say that Kaede wasn't isekai'd to a divergent world in modern times. She was brought far into the past before basic human rights were guaranteed to all. Their values are literally worlds away from our own. To Pascal, at least early on, Kaede is his property. She's a very valuable piece of property, but she still belongs to him. That's why, when he

gives her citizenship to his country

 

, she cries. She's still his familiar, but he gave her the agency to be her own person. To Sylvi, Kaede is an obstacle that stands between Pascal and her becoming lovingly wedded. As someone who is used to being in control, she saw nothing wrong with establishing her superiority over Kaede. While her methods can be seen as cruel and insensitive, Kaede is basically an unwanted mistress that she can never get rid of, at least early on in her eyes. The situation is comparable to how Catelyn treated Jon in GoT. He was innocent of any wrongdoing, but he was also a constant reminder of her husband's seeming disloyalty and infidelity. Now, imagine if, instead of an innocent child, it is a mistress. In all honesty, Sylvi handed things pretty well after she got over the initial hurdles between the two of them.

Lastly, I'd like to say that, to my knowledge, the story was initially supposed to be along the lines of a light novel-esque romantic comedy. If I know anything about gender-benders, it's that the girls always find a way to get the gender-bent girls in feminine clothing. So... Ignoring all of the other justifications, it's just being written the way that it should be. x3

Ajhkum
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

It's not for everyone, and it's great

Reviewed at: Volume 1 Epilogue

I was an old reader before it went in hiatus way back when, but I picked it back up as soon as I heard about the rewrite.

And I was hooked up again.

Some people will find stuff in here off putting, particularly some of the shadier implications of regular isekai stories. Ever realized how fucked up Zero no Tsukaima's premise is? Well, Aorii certainly did and the story doesn't shy away from it. Some people think it gets glossed over, but this story isn't meant to be empowering, it's a story about some unfortunate soul doing what they can with a shitty hand of cards and an arrogant douchebag realizing how big a mistake he's commited and trying to attone for it.

Some people will be put off by forgiveness being a part of this story, and that's okay. If this bothers you, it's not for you, mate.

If you can live with the protagonist accepting the reality of the situation and trying to make the most out of being stranded in a strange world with 0 contacts and enjoy some good ol' fantasy politics this is definitely your story though.

Now that we're done with the extra elaborate disclaimer, here's what I like about the story, in handy bullet points:

 

- It's easily one of the best fantasy war stories I've read, Aorii has a gift for big scale action.

-It doesn't shy away from heavy topics like politics, war and personal tragedy

-...but it tries to keep a somewhat comedic tone overall (not everyone will like this, sue me)

-Aorii really takes the question "what would the world REALLY be like with magic?" and runs with it. If you like history/sociology or just plain worldbuilding you'll love the ideas in here.

 

In conclusion, it rocks. It might not be for everyone, particularly if you're into self empowering stories with a badass protagonist with a guaranteed happy ending. If you like complex characters with a healthy those of nerdy worldbuilding and an amazing war story, though, you're in for a treat.

Keifru
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Interesting Elements, but Painful Levity

Reviewed at: Volume 1 Extra Chapter 2 - Magic and Hierarchy

I'm a sucker for alt-Earth-esque fantasy. Bonus points for something broad like social/geopolitics. Writing is legible and concicse. The magic is pretty soft but that isn't a major focus. When it is used, it is sensible/logical- no 'sudden giant deus ex machina' out of the ass to solve the conflict. The intrigue/geopolitic stuff and worldbuilding are pretty strong. The Faux-Europe history and structure are a lot of fun. I've burned through Vol2 elsewhere and the good stuff only gets better.

On the negative side; The first story to compare this to that comes to mind is Metaworld Chronicles in that they have really great larger-focus items, but some little character-writing issues (though not nearly as bad as Metaworld,) from my point of view. If you can stomach some little problems that one might see common in anime/light novels, it is a pretty good story. They're not horribly gratuitous, nothing trigger-warning-tier. But the levity is just too much not my thing. Casual sexual harassment isn't very funny to me, even if its used for a point/character growth. Coupled with how the transported character is objectified and just...goes with it. Everything internally reaffirms they very much are a guy, they don't have a desire to be a woman, but they're constantly 'dresed up sexy'. Take my opinion with a grain of salt because [Gender Bend] in general is a hard sell to me, but the whole Gender Bend seems like it would be pretty horrific/traumatic actually but that angle isn't really played up. Even for the issues it does cause, I'm not sure at this point why just having a woman be transported over wouldn't work as for anything that does matter, its just the fact the transported character is female in the setting.

From burning through Vol2, this mostly fades away anyway, so its easy to chalk up as ways to characterise certain people and it is somewhat importent for how they develop.

Iceblade44
Overall

The Story is not for everyone, however it is well

Reviewed at: Volume 2 Chapter 6 - The Third Wheel

The writing so far has been very interesting though there are a couple of elements, from the forced summoning and gender bend and the attitude of it main protag being an general oblivious ass which would make some readers uncomfortable. However all of these elements are intentional and well considered by the author. They have discussed that they want to explore the elements of such actions in their story and has done heavy research to make it right. So I am interested on reading more because of it rather then opposed. Still while this review is not supposed to be a warning and the story itself is far from being grimdark, just be mindful of your comforts though.

Another thing of note is that the main character are both big intellectuals and so when they go deep into topics, they go really deep. However it is not exposition dumps, rather they have been used to further define the characters. A matter of character establishment. I personally very enjoy it though I'm critical enough to know that it can tug of people's suspense of disbelief if its not their cup of tea.

 

In anycase, to end the review. Highly recommend the story, it is well written and I'm excited to continue from here.

Tiranu
Overall

Disclaimer: At the point of this review there are a few more chapters compared to here on RR and I already finished reading Volume 2. The currently posted story is a rewrite/structure of the original story.

First let's get the main point out into the open: This is a story that lives from well developed character and from discussing/exploring different topics during the story. Some of the points some people may find uncomfortable (?) because they'd prefer something simple(r) but from my point of view nothing is presented as some 'absolute truth' and thus I do not see any issue with bringing controversial topics into the story. 

Additionally let me repeat the authors disclaimer that this is no power fantasy - the alternative world is exactly that: The world going down a different path of history [because magic exists]. So do not expect "MC builds a gun and carnage ensues!". Which also leads to the last point: When you start reading the story you might think Kaede is the MC (because of being isekai'd). This is not the case: Pascal (who isekai'd Kaede) is the (Main)MainCharacter of this story. 

Now a little more focused on the story itself which I will keep short(er): After the rewrite the story flows very good, I think the imporant characters are well developed and I can (in most cases) follow, understand and justify their behaviour. The 'action' scenes are a tool to develop the story further but still well written. That (compared to the first version) there is more focus on characters and their interaction is a good decision in my eyes and helps focusing on the stories strenghts - but I hope this does not lead to the story becoming only a tool to develop the characters. This has not yet been the case over volume 1+2 but I see that it is a possible pitfall.

There are some points in the story I dont like/am annoyed with/see differently but it would have been more than surprising if this was not the case - considering the author does bring up a multitude of non black/white topics. 

Overall I would summarize my review as this story being a good story about well written and developed, albeit sometimes controversial, characters. While I agree/think that it is not a story for everybody I think the author realized the intentions they had for the story [detailed in multiple blog posts] very well.

TurkeyBlock
Overall

I’m rereading this story in its updated form.

Its characters are not perfect people, and their actions are sometimes discomforting. That said, the characters feel like fleshed-out individuals, and the things that discomfort me make sense within the setting. The scenes are not those of shock-value but of character advancement, and I believe they're interesting in both the good and bad.

To speak plainly, it’s an entertaining story that tells you what it will be, touches on inherent issues in its topic of forced summoning, and executes the premise well. I wouldn't recommend it if you're unwilling to follow highly flawed characters, but there's no doubt in my mind that the story is well written.