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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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“In some Native American legends, a Skinwalker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires. To be able to transform, legend sometimes requires that the Skinwalker does wear a pelt of the animal, though this is not always considered necessary.”

- The Journey to the Afterlife




***Kingdom Newerth, Capital City***
***Seria***



I rattle my shackles, causing the runes on them to glow with blue light. Then I survey the empty room, pursing my lips. There is just a long table with one big chair, which I am chained to. On the other side of the table are four more chairs. The walls and floor are as grey as the furniture. This is an interrogation cell. Which is located in a DF facility next to the academy.

It's funny that I came here on my own accord. Marcus brought me here and persuaded me to stay put until he manages to sort the situation out. It might be possible that he ran into some trouble while doing so.
It has been five hours since then and I was visited by five interrogators. Each of them was carried out by the guards after they tried to read my mind.

I understand that even Marcus can't simply wave his hand and make procedures go away. I declared myself a rogue after all, which should be marginally better than multidimensional spy and princess of another realm, which is filled with beings just like them.
But I felt no deceit when he said that he would help me. That he would work out an arrangement, to be precise.

If they hadn't tried to get into my mind I would still be relaxed. Of course I didn't let them, but it might be time to think about getting out of here. It's nice to have the greatest mind and soul mage in existence as my father. Daddy couldn't stand the thought of having me controlled by someone, so he taught me almost everything he knew.
When it comes to mental defences I doubt that I am any weaker than him.

It's just the really beefy stuff which I have to struggle with. Like taking complete control of another being, sending my soul into them. Father calls it soulwalking. Or creating soulbonds. That's stuff I better not lay my hands upon. It feels creepy to put on the body of someone else like a piece of cloth.

I only send the people over the edge. What happens to their souls afterwards isn't my concern. I have no problem with admitting that my talents only go so far. The goddess of life and death isn't almighty. My talents are life and death magic. That's enough for me. One should always know her talents.

The door opens and two people walk in, a woman and a man. They look very similar to the pictures I saw of the king and queen. Their clothes are definitely more elegant than the uniforms of the people who tried to poke their greasy fingers into my mind. The silver and gold embroidered garments hold an aura of nobility. Not that us gods give a shit about such things.
But even amongst beings like us exists something like a pecking order. The hierarchical pyramid of a kingdom is the most similar to it. So it would be very surprising to ever find a society with gods who chose to live in a democracy. It's simply against our nature.

They undeniably radiate power. Those two are strong.

I smile and rattle my chains, waving a hand. “Hi.”
They stop, looking at me like I am a genuine alien. Well, I am! But they don't know it. The man decides to speak first. “We've heard that you withstood our top interrogators? Three of them aren't quite themselves at the moment.”

Shrugging, I spread my hands as far as the chains allow. “They tried to look at my memories. That's sacred ground where no one but me is allowed, so I threw them out. They will regain their composure soon enough. I tried to avoid permanent damage... this time.”
The man straightens, but the woman places a hand on his. “Charles, we do this the civilised way, remember?”

“As you wish, Clarity.” He replied with a grumpy voice. I have a feeling that he would love to tear out my throat and drink my blood.

Turning to me, she smiles. “And you, I hope you understand that you are causing us headaches. Somehow you, a divine, slipped through the system. We have to make sure that this doesn't happen again. And the fact that you remained hidden for long enough to regain so much knowledge is troublesome.

“I hope that you understand that your mere existence is shifting the power structure. All the noble families are asking whom you belong to. And the fact that my son is protecting you elevates all this to a whole new level.”

So they think that my father might show up, call out 'Daughter!', and I jump into his arms to tell him all the secrets of state I may have learned from Marcus?

I nod and tilt my head. “You don't have to worry that I'll run off to join the opposition. Even if my progenitors reveal themselves, why should I give a shit about them? I was quite happy with my coffee shop. If I hadn't slipped with Adea and developed maternal feelings for her, nothing of this would have happened. I would still be sitting in my shop and serving tea and coffee.”

She raises her eyebrow. “And what is my son to you? He made quite the speech in your favour.”

Seriously? I circle my hand as far as the cuffs allow it. “What's there to say? We met, we danced, we had a nice chat. I liked him and we spent an even nicer night together. It was intended as one-night-only encounter, but then he made a scene to find me. I must admit that it is quite charming to have a guy chase after you like that. He might even make me fall for him. So far, he did a good job of it.”

I smile and drum my fingers onto the table. “Now that he has what he wanted, can I go back to my shop? I like it there. I spent my entire life in this kingdom and I never bothered anyone. Just look at my records. I even went with Marcus without putting up a fight. He promised that I wouldn't be harmed. And these walls make me depressed.”

Clarity raises both her eyebrows. “You have spine. I'll give you that. But you have to understand that all nobles in this country have responsibilities. The fact that you are above spiritualist rank makes you automatically a noble.”
I furrow my forehead. “And I am above spiritualist rank because...”

“You kicked Trebor's ass when he tried to arrest you in your shop. He is ranked as a demigod. So that makes you at least a spiritualist who was lucky, or a demigod. Though I suspect that you are stronger. I was at your house to take a look at your wards and your hearth magic. The fact that I wouldn't want to fight you in there says something. That place has a lot of power, especially the upper floor. What you've set up in the shop itself are just pranks to shoo bullies away,” she explains.

I draw a sharp breath. “You didn't let the DF search through my stuff? Did they steal any of my underwear!? I know men! They do stuff like that.”

Now it's her turn to look genuinely befuddled. “No. My husband and I searched through it. Some of your wards would have killed anyone who is less than a demigod. Especially those in your apartment. You really like books and history, do you?”
I shrug and squint my eyes at the king, conveying the silent message that he is dead meat if he ever drops a word about my undergarments.

Maybe he understood it and maybe not. His face stays expressionless. “I hope that you understand that while we might give you the benefit of the doubt, we still have to know what the current you can do.”

Clarity smiles. “What Charles wants to say, is that we will allow you to roam freely. But you have to take a ranking exam, so that we can judge your potential and give you a proper rank. And you will be given a job that fits your skills. Until we have a better idea of what to do with you, I have decided to make you a teacher at the academy.

“You seem to have a good grasp of your memories. The job you did with Adea is proof of that. Of course you will be paid for the work. If you still want to work in that shop of yours during your free time, that's your choice.”

Hooray! That sounds better than what I hoped for!

“And I want a pregnancy test! I never expected much from Perseus, but my Marcus doesn't get to go around causing trouble!” she adds.
My smile immediately drops. “I am sorry, but I am not that kind of woman. Don't worry, I've been careful. Can I go now?”

They nod.

“Then we can start the ranking assessment right now. Marcus said that I should play nice, but those interrogators almost made me go back on my promise.” I smile and twist my hands, pouring all my mana through my inner magical system. The runes flare up and the chains break. Then the runes which should prevent me from using magic flicker out.
The chains were good craftsmanship and the magic which was embedded in them was a piece of art. But the spells can only be as good as the material which holds them.

As long as I can overpower the spells for long enough to bend the metal, it is no problem to get free. A spell matrix is very prone to failure. A little bend in the material is enough to cause the enchantments to fail. That's why I prefer hearth magic. It fades with time, but doesn't rely on the matter it inhabits.

I claw the useless handcuffs from my wrists and gesture at the door. “Please lead the way.”



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Andur

  • Phantasm

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