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.
“An old man pokes a vaguely humanoid piece of meat with a stick. 'Do you see that? You can tell that they are well done when you poke him and no blood comes out. They stop screaming long time before that. If you take them off the fire at that point, it usually means that they are just crusty, but still raw on the inside. Remember, we don't eat our enemies, it makes us sick. Though a little nibbling is okay when you are hungry. Just their hearts.'
The boy looks away from the huge bonfire, concentrating on his grandfather. 'Okay, what now grandpa?'
Shrugging, the old man drops his stick into the fire. 'Now we catch the other one. Skinwalkers don't talk to their enemies...'”
- The Journey to the Afterlife
***Kingdom Newerth, Capital City***
“Okay, guys and girls, time to pack up. We've ten minutes to return the training field to its proper state. Everyone who is still standing has to help.” I clap my hands together, urging them to work faster. The holes in the ground have to be closed and new boundaries laid.
The students grumble, but they already know that disrespect only results in harsher treatment and more intensive training. Chuckling, I lean back and watch while they work. Of course, that is just until I spot a certain someone homing in on us.
“Well, shit.” Yes, that's a proper way to describe my willingness in dealing with Perseus. He approaches me like a king, his body all muscles and tendons with not a single ounce of fat. Of course that last part is just guesswork. It's not like I've ever seen him naked, though my body certainly would like to.
“Look who reappeared out of nowhere. Never would have thought that my brother would fall for a rogue,” Perseus opens the discussion as soon as he reaches speaking distance.
I raise an eyebrow. “If I remember correctly, you also tried to add me to your list of conquests.”
Perseus laughs. “And the offer still stands. Unlike my brother, I wouldn't deny a woman her wishes.”
He reaches up and touches my cheek, much like Marcus did. The touch sends a rush of desire through me and I step away. Even though it was just a simple touch, I still feel a prickling sensation running down my spine. Why is my body betraying me like that? Did he try some sort of seduction spell?
Perseus didn't move when I stepped away. Instead, his eyes are on the students. A few of them looked up to listen in on our conversation.
I scratch at my cheek where Perseus touched me, trying to scratch away the taint he left in my flesh. “If you ever do that again, I'll rip you to pieces and use your bones as a decoration in my apartment!”
He gapes at me. Is he surprised that whatever he tried to do didn't work? It's his turn to raise both eyebrows. “That's interesting. It's the first time that I've met a woman who can resist my charms. Now I want you even more to belong to me than before. And it isn't just because my brother is interested in you.”
Great, what's this? Some soap opera in which two princes are fighting for the maidservant? “I am sorry to inform you, but I don't belong to anyone. And just for your information, I was classified as a divine. If you ever come anywhere near me, be prepared for collateral damage!”
He hesitates for a moment, but then he places his hands behind his back. “You would do something that would harm the city? You were living in this town for your entire life.”
I hiss. “And I have even more memories of places you can't even dream of, so try me!” Then I realize that Perseus's attention isn't on me, but rather on someone behind me.
“Back off, Brother. I think the lady made it clear that she wants some space.”
Turning around, I find Marcus behind me. He is inside my personal space, but I've no idea how he got there. I didn't even feel him approach. Startled, I step away and return my attention to Perseus.
The huge man purses his lips. In the end he decides to smile.
“It was nice to meet you again, mysterious lady in a red gown. I am glad that we will be able to meet much more often in the future.” He turns away with a silent promise in his eyes and walks towards the academy buildings, away from the training field.
“Do you have any idea what that was supposed to mean?” I am still scratching at my cheek and try to get a grip on myself. Perseus definitely didn't penetrate my defences. He did something which wasn't related to a spell, or a charm, or to magic at all. Maybe I'd be well advised to find out what his trick is, and fast. Maybe I already should have smelled that something was wrong when I encountered him at the mana storm.
Back then I also reacted aroused, though we were fighting and it certainly wasn't the time for romantic thoughts. The guy is getting under my skin!
“I am very sorry. Perseus never managed to deal with the death of his mother, and Clarity wasn't able to replace her. Since then he has always been acting like an asshole,” Marcus mumbles.
I turn my attention to Stalkerboy. “And what's the relationship between the two of you? Because if you tell me now that you are Best-Bros-Ever, this isn't going to work out between us. I am sorry to inform you, but the points against you are piling up while the points in your favour are failing to increase in numbers.”
Marcus raises the corner of his mouth in half a smile. “So I still have a chance? Even if yesterday's date apparently wasn't to your liking?”
I stop scratching. “Why do you think that it wasn't to my liking?”
He tilts his head. “I don't know. In my world, a great date is followed by an invitation to deepen the relationship. An average date is followed by an appointment for future dates. And a bad date ends with the woman running off right after she is excused to do so?”
I lick over my lips and think of a good way to answer. It's true that I kind of fled the scene. Shutting him down completely isn't what I want. And he drove off Perseus. I am not sure if me harming the first prince would have ended in my favour. But the guy is begging for some broken bones.
“I don't want you to misunderstand. I don't have the hots for you-”
The corners of his mouth curl downwards.
“-and your tendency to stalk me creeps me out! Don't walk up behind me like that! It's creepy.”
“But I am not in a relationship and at least you know how to behave.”
Tilting his head, he smiles at me.
“So I can't really say no when you invite me to go out with you.”
He gestures with his hand, circling it. “So basically, I am not the guy who makes you wish to bend over and pull down your panties. But since you are bored and there are no other prospects, you will allow me to redeem myself by paying for a few high class restaurants?
Hahahaha. Now you should see you own expression. But I think that's only fair. Yes, in fact I like the chance you are giving me. That makes it all the more interesting. Okay, next time I'll show you a little more of myself and what's my idea of date.”
I cross my arms in front of me and push up my chest to distract him. “So you have an idea to sway my feelings for you.”
He spreads his hands, helpless. “It's not so much an idea, as to showing you who I really am. What I like, what I do in my free time. Isn't that more important than visiting expensive restaurants?”
Squinting my eyes, a grin steals itself onto my face. “Oooh, you want to save your expenses and take me directly to your home? What's your plan? Will you cook for me?”
He blinks. “Not exactly. But I am afraid that I have to add another bad point to your list and make you wait a little. Do you have some free time this weekend?”
There are still two days until the end of the week. “That's really surprising. I honestly thought you would grab my skirt and hold onto it like a little boy until I give up.”
Marcus shakes his head, his expression turning sad. “I am afraid that was exactly my plan until work got in the way.”
He takes a deep breath. “It's been a few days since the invasion, and the chaos caused us to lose track of a lot of things. The battle zone is still in a state of martial law. But we heard that there were quite a lot of disappearances. At first we thought that those people were caught up in the invasion, but the number of requests is still rising rapidly and there are also people who were definitely seen after the event. I am going to look into that. It's my duty as a divine.”
I twirl a lock of hair between my fingers, thinking. Probably I am going to regret this, but maybe being close to Marcus gets me access to some secrets of the state? He is a prince and obviously involved in some highly classified stuff. Perseus is in this realm's military and would probably be a better choice, but he feels dangerous.
He furrows his forehead. “Okay? Okay... what?”
“I am going to help you.”