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Author's Comment:
If you find mistakes, pls tell, thx. I don't like mistakes.


Author's Comment:
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.
(http://armaell-library.net/author/andur)




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“How events are perceived lies in the eye of the beholder.”

- The Journey to the Afterlife




***Kingdom Newerth, Capital City***
***Marcus***



I sit in my office with my feet placed on the table, rubbing both my temples. “Why is this happening to me!” Taking the empty tea cup from the table, I throw it at the chalkboard which is covering the wall. The glass shatters and sprays onto the floor.
On the chalkboard are two mindmaps, representing the two different cases which are causing the royal family no end of trouble.

The first one is the spirit invasion and the four winged spirit which is apparently roaming unchecked around the city. We still don't know how she pulls off her disappearances and how she is hiding herself. I study the mindmap.

Mana storm – three dead, one abducted
Abducted found – not lucid, doesn't know what happened! Raped?
No further deaths, Fourwings disappeared
Portal opened in Tandeen district – cellar, three summoners of low rank, research, dead
Fourwings reappeared – at fault? Connection to summoners? Didn't attack, no deaths! Fled!?


This spirit is a loony one. I want the old times back. Spirits who are obviously sane enough to have plans of their own and hold back their instincts freak me out. And we don't really know anything about it... her... why do I keep calling it a her?
But we always suspected that there must be spirits with some sort of intelligence. How else would they connect to a portal to start their invasion? The theory is that they first send their trash through the portal, then some big ones and then... we never allowed it to go that far.

My mind keeps returning to yesterday's encounter. That pebble! She knew exactly what I would do and played me like a musical instrument! My brother keeps saying that it is just another spirit who has to be dealt with, but she is clearly intelligent. Why doesn't he admit that?

My eyes keep flipping to the second mindmap and I groan, remembering that one night. Why did I let her go!? Stupid! And especially running out of the hotel in hope to catch her on the street. I acted like a lovestruck teenager. Then I spent the day running around the campus and asking students about her. There was no better way to start the rumour mill!

My parents chewed me out for half a day when they learned about it. I don't get why they are giving me so much stress about one wonderful night. My brother is the one who whores around. Can't I fall for a woman once in a while?

At least I regained some sense and secured the registration sphere later on. There was not a single noble at the ball whose picture matched Seria. And I looked through all of them. The only anomaly was an aura which wasn't registered as a known noble. And that's impossible. All nobles are registered. So this one aura has to be Seria's. But a colour coded aura with a forename attached to it doesn't get me anywhere! And we can't force the whole population to have their aura recorded.

Is she a rogue? A spiritualist who... somehow... slipped through the system?

I want to strangle the guy who was in charge of the ball's security. But then again, who would attack a public event with the nation's strongest fighters? There are some criminal elements, but they would never lay a hand on us. We are running raids every few years to keep the organized crime syndicates down. They won't risk our ire.

And it was just a simple school ball. Not some consecrated event with the king and queen at the head of the table.

Our country was at peace and thriving for generations. Other than the spirits there are no big internal or external threats. Which country would be stupid enough to start a war with their neighbours if at any time, any place a portal could open to spit out an army of crazed monsters. All it takes is one idiot who plays with inter-dimensional travel. Those times are gone, why don't they see it?
And the spirits don't do spying, at least they didn't until recently. Maybe we have to put much more effort into our security. I have to tell Father once I see him.

I stop massaging my temples and close my eyes. Every time I close them, I see those bouncing... and her smile. Gods, how am I supposed to think logically when I can't have her in my arms. This is the first time something like this has happened to me.

I take a deep and long breath. This will be solved. It's public, and she is on the DF's wanted list. Nobody beds nobility without having his or her credentials checked. They will find her once they are through the memories of the people who agreed to a memory check. It's just a matter of time. The stupid guard was useless since almost none of the faces he looked at stuck. His only concern was ripping the invitations. But someone must have seen her entering the building or associating with someone.

A knock from the door draws my attention. “Enter!”

Another teacher enters the room, Trebor. He is ranked as a demigod and very proud of it. Too proud in my opinion. As far as I am concerned, he is an asshole. But I never told him that. Instead I try to stop him from abusing the weaker students by staying on his good side.
He may not be a divine rank like me, but he is smart. If he gets pissed and puts his mind to it, he can cause some serious trouble. I don't fear him, but I assume that he will vent his rage on those beneath him. I can't be everywhere.

“Teacher Marcus. I am coming to you with a very serious issue regarding the rogue!” Trebor starts the conversation.
Rogue? A picture of Seria flashes through my mind, her arms around my neck as we dance at the ball. Damn. Is that everything I will ever have of her? Some nice memories?
Seeing that Trebor won't continue on his own, I decide to urge him on. “Rogue?”
“Ah, Adea Milowies! She is refusing to answer my questions truthfully, so I am coming to you. I am sure that someone of your status has ways to force her,” Trebor replies.

I let my eyes wander to the ceiling. “Adea Milowies, yes.” Such a coincidence. I totally forgot that the talented girl is also a rogue, but one who was recognized by the system. She is proof that there are more than enough nobles who would rather keep their mouths shut and risk innocent lives than to report their... slippery adventures. A single divine who slips through the system could cause untold damage if they aren't educated properly. Such tight restrictions are sad, but how else should a society deal with persons who are walking nukes?

It's interesting that I recently had a long and nice chat with Adea. She ran off to rescue her Mom when the spirits attacked. She even encountered our mystery spirit and the story she and her friend had to tell us was unbelievable. Apparently the strange spirit saved them, even fighting her own comrades. And she even healed a lethal wound on Adea's mother. I still have to add that point to my mindmap. Strange behaviour indeed.

“I am afraid that you have to elaborate,” I gesture for Trebor to go on.

“That little shit was always a bottom feeder. Her muddy blood doesn't allow for more. But recently she improved drastically. She is keeping up with the top students and she managed to get transferred to the advanced lessons. She even laid her hands on your little brother. Did you know that?
Some of her techniques weren't taught at the academy. She is clearly being taught by someone else and that's not acceptable. It's law that young divines have to be guided carefully to their awakening. There is no place for illegal tutoring!” Trebor huffs.

Everyone teaches their children, you moron! It might be a law, but one which isn't followed by anyone and most certainly one that isn't enforced. Trebor must know that the law is intended for something entirely different. Pure home tutoring of offspring with divine potential isn't allowed. It guarantees that no family can hide away their children and gather people of unknown power in their house.

This bastard is simply pissed that someone with enough time at hand is tutoring Adea. She slipped into the advanced classes, so he can't pester her any more. Something which the poor girl certainly deserves. “And which question is she refusing to answer?”
“I just wanted to know who is teaching her. But either she avoids the question, outright lies, or doesn't answer at all,” Trebor answers enraged.

Ok, that's strange. Why doesn't she want to give away her tutor's identity? Is it someone who is afraid of persecution because he is teaching a social outcast? My eyes wander to the chalkboard. Or is it someone who is afraid of being found out? Like another rogue?

Like her.

And from whom did Seria get the invitation to the ball? She registered normally, so she must have had one. We interviewed all the students on who got their invitation, but nobody admitted that they gave it to someone outside their family.

And now we learn that Adea is hiding something. Or better... someone. I smile.

“Maybe we should follow the girl for a while. Just to make certain of who her friends are. I am concerned about her surroundings. If everyone treats her like dirt, she may follow the wrong path. And we don't want a potential divine following the wrong path.”
I squint my eyes at Trebor. “Do you understand my meaning?”

Trebor looks away. “Of course your highness. She won't be reprimanded for her... consultation of another teacher.”



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Andur

  • Phantasm

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