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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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“Most times people are happier with a lie than with the truth. Why? That’s easy. The truth is often something that people don’t want to hear. First, the truth is never simple. And second, it’s uncomfortable and harsh most of the time.”

- The Journey to the Afterlife




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



I descend the old stairway down to the palace’s high security prison. The stairs are dusty and clearly not used often. What’s down here is best forgotten. Only my own magelight illuminates the walls. No outside sources of energy are allowed down here. It would be too much of a risk.

For the situation to spiral out of control like that. When my parents apprehended Perseus I thought that there would be a public trial, followed by Perseus losing a lot of his power and maybe a prison sentence. The people would have finally seen his true nature.

But to end up down here. What happened between him and my parents after I left with Seria? They didn’t want to talk about it. In fact, I feel ashamed that I didn’t realize what’s going on for so long.
It has been three days since they made Perseus disappear and there was no news report on the media.
The prolonged silence should have made me wary. The first prince of the country doesn’t simply vanish without so much as a single question about his whereabouts.

Charles and Clarity even made the media shut up. All the reporters are allowed to make public, is that Perseus is on extended leave because of a secret mission.

I reach the high security door and punch the runes which allow access to the high security installation. I wondered about the change of all passwords and codes, but if my brother is here, that’s perfectly reasonable. The heavy steel flows apart to allow me entry, just enough for a single person to squeeze through.
Once I am on the other side, the metal flows back into position and the runes light up with renewed power.

Turning around, I head down the long, empty hallway. The air is humming with power. I feel the layered cages of magic, even though I am outside them. This is a prison for holding gods and divine spirits. The worst of the worst are locked up down here.
It’s a place without return. There is not a single case in recorded history where my parents let anyone out of here once he or she was imprisoned.

It’s worse than a death sentence.

Back in the days when the multiverse was whole, the worst fate a god could suffer was to be cast into the eternal darkness of a black hole, or get lost in one of the void zones. Both were places where no pathway could reach. A dead end, damning one to wander the emptiness alone.

I walk past rows of windows which grant a view of white, circular rooms. The rune system which is carved into each room’s walls, is a work of art. A trapping spell which bends reality and forces the prisoners to live inside a circle with a radius of three metres. The sealing spell repeats itself three times and is protected by three layers of additional security spells. A prison which even a divine who lets go completely can’t break.

Passing the cells, I take a peek at spirits who are kept in here for study, or were too strong to be killed in a conventional way. Now they are left here to starve and wither away.
Some cells hold people. I barely know any of them. The few who I know deserve worse than this prison. Each of them looks up with interest as I pass by. Me moving past their windows, is the only diversion in their dull existence.

At last, I reach the cell which is holding my brother. He is lying on his belly inside the magical circles which are binding him. Hands and legs stretched out, he looks like he is asleep. There is the slow movement of his chest, so he isn’t dead.
I reach for the rune system which is engraved in the wall next to the window. Activating the visitor setting, I lower the security to the point which allows me to communicate with Perseus.

Otherwise even sound wouldn’t be allowed to leave the cell.

I clear my throat and announce myself. “Perseus?”
He doesn’t look up, but his voice can be heard clearly through the window. “Took you a while to pay me a visit, brother.”

I tilt my head and study the man in front of me. He looks less intimidating than I remember. Is it just the fact that he is lying on the ground? “I am sorry, but I guess you understand that I don’t really feel bad about your situation. You brought this onto yourself. And on top of that, in the worst possible manner.”
Perseus starts chuckling. “That’s so funny. You all really think that I am something evil which has to be locked away? I just took what’s mine by right of birth. I am the heir to the throne!”

I squint my eyes at the figure on the ground. The mad undertone in his voice is disturbing. “Your current situation doesn’t allow you to fulfil that role. You would be the first member of the royal family who reigns from a prison cell.”
“I won’t be in here forever. I just have to be patient. Though I would get out much faster if you show a little brotherly love and open this damned cell,” Perseus answers.

“Never. After everything you did to those women? That was rape Perseus. But for our parents to go so far as to throw you in here. Why are you in this cell? With the worst of the worst? Were you too proud to kneel down in front of our parents and apologize?” I ask and snort, imagining my brother blurting out some stupid line about being the first prince.

Perseus’s shoulders start heaving as if he is laughing. “You are such a sheltered existence, Marcus. They honestly didn’t tell you? Well, that’s just their style, letting you find out on your own. They are too weak and afraid to look at your face and tell you the truth. That’s why you are down here. They didn’t have the guts to finish it, to go public and admit that one of their own did something sinful. Instead they locked me up in here and threw the key away.

“But it doesn’t matter. Tell me, how is my little Seria doing without me? Does she miss my touch?” He scrambles into a sitting position, still looking away from me.
I snort. “She didn’t even mention you. That’s how much she is missing you.”
He chuckles. “Aah, I see. A strong one. Tell me, did she ravage you after you took her away that night?”

I stiffen, but say nothing.

“That’s just a part of my ability, but I am sure that I flipped some important switches in her. She is an interesting one. You could call her the white to my black. The Yin to my Yang. There is a mutual attraction between us. We are fated to be with each other. Funny that you fall for the only woman you can’t take from me.”

I feel anger welling up inside me. “What did you do to her?”

He turns around and stands up, approaching me as close as possible. That’s when I notice for the first time that he had changed. His skin is unblemished and his features are finer than when I last saw him. It gives him an otherworldly beauty. But his eyes are black as the night, the pupils widened to the point where the iris is almost completely gone.

Perseus spreads his hands and smiles at me. “I did nothing to her. Her own instincts will force her into my arms. The important thing is about what happened to me. I embraced my spirit form. That’s all. And it feels great! All those women I snatched away from you. It feels the best to interrupt a developing relationship. Stepping in at just the right moment, when both partners think that they are meant for each other.

“I am an incubus, little brother. And it feels good to let go. You should try it yourself.” Perseus licks over his lips as if in anticipation. “And I am fairly sure that Seria is something close to a succubus. I could taste it on her. She is different from the other women I've had so far. Closer to her spirit form than most. That’s why she won’t escape me. What’s wrong brother? Don’t look at me like that. I simply embraced what I am. You should too. It’s our nature. We-”

The thing inside the cage tries to say more, but I reach up and engage the highest security setting, cutting off the words. Perseus realizes what I did and throws himself against his prison. The resulting surge of energy blinds me and I raise my hand to block the light. He continues his blind rage, but it achieves nothing. The barriers hold without a problem.

Turning around, I leave Perseus behind. If I could, I would forget what I just saw. My brother gave in to his spirit form. He completely lost it. No wonder that our parents locked him up. We can’t even present him to a court. They would demand his immediate execution. The royal family would be shamed for generations to come. What will the people think when they hear that Perseus, a war hero of countless battles, succumbed to his instincts? One of the royal line and one of the most important fighters to stand between them and the monsters.

This is truly a case in which having elevated a single person to celebrity status comes back to haunt us twice over. And more important, what will my parents do to cover this? Will Perseus’s dead body mysteriously appear somewhere after the next invasion? And what will I do? My brother is as good as dead. That means that I’ll have to rise up the ladder.

I turn and look back down the hallway, realizing that I am breathing much to heavily. What do I do about Seria? Did Perseus lie about her? What if he said the truth? Can she influence me? Even if she doesn’t know what she is doing? What if she goes over the edge?



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Andur

  • Phantasm

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