If you find mistakes, pls tell, thx. I don't like mistakes.
I was asked about reading my work on other sites.
The answer is simple: Currently I am not active in any other networks than royalroadl.com. Only here, I correct mistakes and errors.
If you read it anywhere else and have to pay for it, or have to deal with an annoying amount of advertisement, You Are Being Betrayed.
You would do good if you make other people in that network aware of it. This is a free project of mine for the purpose of having fun. And if people try to make money with it you shouldn't bother visiting their website.
I have no problem with translation and reposting of the story, as long as the person in question isn't doing it for money or stealing my identity.
The only one whom I actually allowed to have my work on his website is Armaell who invested the time to compile them into pdf.
“If you let a prisoner go, you either use him to send a message, or you destroy his credibility to create doubt.”
- The Journey to the Afterlife
I walk the eternity between worlds. My essence is in the process of being torn apart, but sheer will keeps me together. Images of distant places flash by, every one of them a possible exit point and a promise to end this torture. But I only care for one. The other realm is my goal, a place which lies in another dimension. When the end of my path flashes into existence, I imagine myself stepping forward.
My body reassembles itself as I walk forward and out of the mana storm. The process was agonizingly slow and I hurry to get away from the energies of the storm. I am not a masochist and avoiding more pain is my top priority right now. Finally I am free of the energies which are trying to rip me apart. Gasping, I continue to walk. Gaining some distance is important.
Apparently my exit point was a little too close to the storm. That would explain the exceptionally uncomfortable ride between dimensions. The storms are zones where two dimensions touch each other, so crossing dimensions in their proximity increases the chance of success.
The other dimension seems reasonably comfortable. I can breathe, something which I shouldn't take for granted when I enter a realm which doesn't necessarily share the same physical laws as my old one. The ground around the storm consists of the same molten slag as in my native dimension. With enough time, the energies of the storm grind everything to dust.
The sky is blue, contrary to the violet sky of Dedessia. But like in my home, there is no sun. At least I can't see one from my current point of view.
After a short zone which is covered in underbrush, the destroyed landscape merges with a forested area. That's another pleasant surprise. This dimension is habitable!
When I notice the five men who emerge from the forest I start grinning. Pleasant surprise number three are intelligent inhabitants! And they even look like base-line humans. The only troublesome thing is that they are wearing mean looking, black and grey uniforms. Time to slip into my role as ambassador and to make first contact.
They are just about fifty metres away and have spotted me. Screaming in a strange language they point at me.
Raising my hand, I call out, “Greeti-”
A fireball hits me in the face and burns my throat. I cough smoke and try my best to stay on my feet. The fireball didn't have a lot of energy behind it, certainly not enough to kill a god. I reinforced myself by expanding my aura just in time. It's a basic defensive move for deities. But still, inhaling an attack spell isn't a particularly good idea. Even if I am a god.
One of the men appears in front of me, swinging his fist. My body reacts instinctively and my hand flashes forward. The man's head parts from his shoulders. In my own realm, Dedessia, you don't live for long if you don't show a certain ruthlessness towards things which are out to kill you.
Then the other four descend on me and if I hadn't had the advantage in limbs, I probably would have gotten in trouble.
After being greeted so poorly I have no intention of letting them touch me. There are ways in which even weaker opponents can disable a stronger one. Using my wings, I block the attackers who approach from the sides. One of them circles around me to attack from behind, but I ignore him and advance at full speed, charging into the man who took the front.
Grabbing his arm, I twist us around and use him as a shield against the others. My meatshield absorbs two fireballs before I silence my attackers by sending a wave of force through my hand and into them.
Two are thrown backwards and into the mana storm. Their bodies don't withstand the raging, orange energies of the storm and they simply disintegrate.
Focusing my attack on the remaining assailant, I sense a gush of air and reposition my meatshield. The man in my arms groans as something hits him. Relying on my instincts, I whirl us around to avoid other attacks.
At last I get a short pause to study the new combatant and his supporters. My initial opponents were definitely lows. Back home in Dedessia, we rank the strength of a person in three categories, lows, mids and highs.
The ones I fought so far would be categorized as lows, but the new arrivals are definitely stronger. They rank at least in the lower spectrum of higher immortals. Maybe they are minor deities?
I count four men and two women. If all of them work together, they might succeed in bringing me down.
My meatshield says something and I shake him. Honestly, this guy is still alive? He must be related to a cockroach. The six newcomers close in and I decide to bolt. Probably my meatshield said something like 'Ignore me! I'll give my life for the cause!', or something equally cliché.
I spread my mana equally throughout my body and flash step, reappearing at the edge of the forest. The guy who seems to be the leader of the reinforcements appears next to me with a flash. Teleportation! His long, blonde hair is a little dishevelled after the fight and he looks furious. Raising his hand, he gathers mana to cleave right through me.
I play my meatshield-card and he hesitates, just for an instant. It's enough. I kick his shin and something gives way with a crunch. Blondy goes down with a scream and for a moment I marvel at his well tuned muscles.
If I had the time I would eat a cutie like him.
Teleporting again, I flee the fight before his friends get their act together. Not caring about my destination, I concentrate on distance and teleport several times in random directions to throw off possible pursuers. In order to add to the confusion I also use flash step from time to time. Contrary to teleportation, flash step is a purely physical movement skill. It leaves no traces of mana which could be followed.
When I arrive at a nice, little river I decide that I am safe for now. I draw a deep breath and take in the noise of the undisturbed green forest around me. A groan and soft whimpering inform me that my meatshield is still alive. I dragged him with me, holding him at his collar the entire time.
Oh boy, and he looks like he won't make it for long. Our opponents surely didn't hold back, but somehow they avoided hitting his vital spots.
I drop him and place a hand on his chest. Invading his body with my mana, I stitch up the most important places so that he won't die on me. First I close the deep cuts and heal his inner organs. His left lung collapsed, but that little problem is solved soon enough.
Be glad that the goddess of life and death wants you to live a little bit longer.
He tries to resist me, but I pin him down with gravity magic. Weakened as he is, there is nothing he can do. Once I am sure that there are no life threatening wounds left, I end my efforts. He is covered in bruises and has a nasty cut on his forehead, but that's no concern of mine. Next I concentrate on his consciousness.
Recognizing the mental contact he tries to shut me out, but I tear right through his defences. I already expected that there might be communication problems, so sucking the language directly from his brain seems like the only sensible solution. I certainly won't invest time to learn their language the hard way.
His memories flash by and I try to incorporate them with my own. But instead of consciously analysing his sea of memories, I file them away for later use. I'll call it the meatshield wiki.
Taking in enough to learn his language on the spot is pure torment anyway. When I am done I let go of him and rub my temples. Headache! I was right not to take everything at once.
“Wha... are you doing to mee...” His whiny voice draws my attention.
“Learning your language! Why did you attack me?” I glare down at him. This weakling raises all my flags. Doesn't he realize that I just saved his life?
“We attack all garhe who emerge from the storm,” he answers.
Garhe? Apparently absorbing only his language didn't go as smoothly as I intended. My father would have done a far better job. Searching through my captive's memories, I realize that garhe is their name for what my people call a spirit. Magical beings which were created from chaos magic. Spirits are dangerous and seek the destruction off all life which isn't like them. My people also have their fair share of problems with them.
“I am not a spirit!” I sputter exasperated. How could they even think that?
“Did you never look in a mirror?” he whines.
I gasp and run over to the river where I use some force magic to flatten the surface of the water. What greets me is... me! I let out a sigh. In the first moment I thought that the storm did something to me when I crossed dimensions. “What are you talking about? I look perfectly fine.” I bounce my chest and run my hands down my curves, yep! Good old goddess of life and death at her finest.
He gasps. “Does that mean that you run around in your spirit form all the time? How dirty, don't you have any control!?”
I don't fail to notice the pure outrage in his expression. Is this a cultural thing in his society? Do they frown upon showing their demon form? If so, do they also abhor the skills which come with it?
Looking back at my improvised mirror, I reach for the horns which are crowning my head... and my other features. My people are proud of their demon forms and once we achieve them, we almost never revert to a purely human state.
Concentrating, I use my magic to retract the horns which crown my head like a tiara. I catch the mana crystal inlays which were decorating them in my hands.
Next are my two sets of wings. First are the wings of light which are attached to my lower back. Then there are the wings of shadow which sprout from my shoulder blades. They symbolize my parents and are like a trademark to me. The goddess of life and death with wings of light and darkness. Banishing my four wings feels like losing two sets of limbs. I already hate this world.
Last point on the list is hiding my demon tail. Pouting, I watch it shrinking and disappearing into my spine. Luckily my clothes are also made from mana crystals, so a simple command closes the holes in my robes. Figuring that my current clothes might look strange, I pick a memory from my meatshield wiki and change into something the women of this realm wear on a daily basis.
The wide trousers which look like a skirt are fine, but the top seems unnecessarily complicated and I try for a while until my breasts don't feel like I am in a corset. The fact that Meatshield's memories regarding women's clothing aren't exactly detailed doesn't help.
When I am done, I reform the ornaments for my horns into a set of rings and earrings. Mana crystals can take any shape the owner wants, so it's simply a problem of aligning my mana with them and concentrating.
The main bulk of my mana wanders into bracers for my lower arms.
Once that's done I return to my prisoner. “Do I look normal now, Meatshield?”
“You! You just ravaged through my memories and you don't even know my name?” he sputters.
I don't answer and practice my death glare instead. A meatshield doesn't need a name. When he doesn't answer I kick him, breaking a rib.
He coughs and finally admits that his life is in my hands. “...the eyes, your other features like the hair are fine. There are many people who have problems with controlling their spirit form, so you will blend in once you are in a big city.”
I return to my mirror and study my eyes and hair. I inherited my hair from my mother's line. It's of a dark red which ends in pure black at the tips. I really don't want to change it, so I simply tie it to a ponytail. When someone asks I'll simply say that I am dyeing it.
My eyes are the real problem. I inherited them from Dad. They are of a pure black with slit, golden pupils and a sea of stars floating in them.
Concentrating, I revert them to a normal white and manage a blueish grey on the now round pupils. Somehow the sea of golden stars remains, against all my efforts, but I manage to dim it down. As long as nobody looks at me in the dark, or tries to kiss me, it should be fine. I study the slender features of my face and decide to end the make up session.
Returning to my prisoner, I place my hands on my hips and study him. “Now?”
His eyes wander up and down my body. Somehow I resist the urge to poke them out, but I'll still take my revenge for sizing me up so blatantly. He nods. “I guess... what do you plan to do now. And who are you?”
Yeah, right. Like I would tell him my name. Being attacked without a word wasn't a great introduction to this realm. First I want to study them. Then I can go home in order to report to my parents. “I am just thinking about how to neutralize you. Killing you outright could make things more complicated later on.” I already killed at least three of them, but that was a battle situation and I acted in self defence. Now I am dealing with a prisoner.
I kneel down and sit on top of his legs. Then I rip his uniform open to expose his chest. Hm. His face isn't great, but at least he trained his body. Well, he is a soldier.
“What!? What!? What are you trying to do!?” He attempts to sit up, but my gravity magic holds him in place. It doesn't help that his mana reserves are completely depleted.
Bending down, I place my lips on his belly and start sucking. He wriggles and screams, probably imagining that I am about to suck out his intestines or something along those lines.
My lips part from his skin with a 'plop' and I grant him a disarming smile. He doesn't notice it. Since he doesn't stop screaming I place a hand on his mouth to shut him up.
“I've decided. First I'll cover your body with love bites and then I'll edit your memories. Once that's done, we will search for the nearest road and set you free. I wonder what your commanding officers will think once they find you without clothes and looking like you just had the hottest night of your life. Be glad that I bestow such an honour on you.”
His eyes widen and his attempts at escape intensify. Of course to no avail. I force his head to the side and start sucking on his neck.
Oh, I wish I could take a snapshot of their faces once they find him.