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.
“The rockcrawler is a grey festering blob of infinite malevolence, described as the lesser spawn of a leviathan and a dragon, born from their bile and tears. All those who get close enough to be grabbed by the tentacles, or to be spit at with its acid, have to face a cruel end. But as they are fairly common in rocky regions, the denizens of Dedessia tend to harvest them for nutrients.”
- The Journey to the Afterlife
“Don’t make such a face and eat. We can’t afford that you go berserk because you lose control of your spirit form,” Seria reprimands me with an oversized fork in her hand. She formed the thing from her mana crystals. Then she carved a flat surface into a rock and heated it with fire magic. And that’s how you get an improvised stove in just a few minutes.
I survey the flat, rocky landscape. Not that there is anything here which could be used as fire material.
Though I still find my lightforging much more convenient. It’s definitely faster and more versatile in regard to creating a weapon on the fly. On the other hand a mana crystal is permanent and can hold spells, so there are some definitive advantages to using mana crystal based weapons.
She gestures at the piece of meat in my hands and I wince upon taking another bite from the chewy flesh. If I’ve ever wondered what shit tastes like, then I am sure to know it now. I’ve always prided myself in having experienced everything there is to experience. But I’ve never encountered such a vile tasting creature.
From worlds with endless jungles and no technology at all, to swamps and deserts. I’ve lived through it and conquered them all. Hell, I even hunted a dragon or two before I became a god. But nothing tops this world. “Why did you even force me to eat parts of it raw?” I complain.
Seria doesn’t show any pity and crosses her arms in front of her chest. She looks at me as if she is enjoying this. “Because we have no idea how this works. Or if it’s really just about eating a spirit. If it’s some chemical compound, then it’s possible that cooking or frying the meat reduces the effect. And we don’t know which body-parts contain the hormones, or whatever it is that allows you to stay in control while in spirit form.
“So I would strongly recommend to stop bitching. Eat. Think of it as very exotic sushi. At least the effect seems to be permanent.”
“Permanent?” I ask and feel for my new, pointy canines. They are almost like a vampire’s. “I hope not! It’s been just one meal, but I already gave upon counting how many times I almost bit into my tongue.”
Seria shrugs. “We are completely winging this, but at least I suppose that it’s true by taking me as an example. I was living in your realm for several months and I never had trouble with my spirit form. If the effect weren’t permanent, then I should have developed the same trouble as everyone else in that realm. But I didn’t, all chemicals should have left my body by that time. So we can safely assume that whatever eating a spirit does to our bodies, is permanent.”
My eyes wander to the gigantic slug, tentacle-like thing, no, I suppose every attempt at describing this thing is doomed from the start. Seria calls it a rockcrawler and according to her it’s a standard food supply of the dedessian people. Like deer back in my own realm.
Just that this deer has long tentacles which are strong enough to crush bones. And if that isn’t enough, the huge, five centimetre long thorns which cover each tentacle ensure that nothing gets away. Oh, and did I mention that the thing spits acid with a paralysing effect?
And it can hide very well by changing its shape and colour. At least Seria warned me of the stone which turned out to be our next meal. We teleported practically right next to it and if it hadn’t been for Seria, I would have never known that the thing was just waiting for us to come a little closer.
If she calls those things relatively harmless, then I don’t want to know what’s supposed to be dangerous in this realm. My eyes wander to Zhon. He is still completely out of it and sitting on a stone, drooling. The spit is running down his blood smeared chin. If we let him be for too long, a puddle will form under him. And I am not particularly excited to slip in it when I have to pick him up.
“Don’t even think about it. We need him alive.”
I blink and return my attention to Seria. “I would never do that.” Though I have to admit that the idea is appealing. The rockcrawler makes my stomach turn just by thinking about it. The longer we are in this place, the more likely it becomes that I’ll resort to cannibalism. “But just to satisfy my curiosity. What exactly did you do to him?” I nod my head at the drooling idiot. So far, Seria’s treatment worked better than any restraints we could have put on him.
Seria returns her attention to Zhon and uses the fork to scratch her chin, an expression of disgust on her face. “You could say that I lobotomised him. But in a very special way. It doesn’t impair his memories or anything like that. But! The rune forces him to relive everything that caused him fear or pain, again and again. It also strengthens those memories each time he experiences them. If we leave him in this state for a few more days, all his future reincarnations will have a certain tendency to regain all the painful stuff before he remembers anything else. Once we remove the rune from his forehead, he will return to normal though, but the strengthened memories should remain.”
She smirks. “Forever.”
So he will be a serious nutcase, even if he reincarnates. I frown and study the two runes on Zhon’s forehead. Normally I would say something against such methods, but in this particular case I don’t care. My morals are a stretchy issue when it comes to mass murderers. Seria used her fingernail to scratch the runes into his skin and for some reason Zhon’s healing ability didn’t work on the rune. The wound was closed by the dried up blood, but not before it bled all over Zhon’s face. Watching him like that is seriously disturbing, but neither of us cared to clean him up. He would just sully himself again anyway. “But how do we remove the rune?”
Seria purses her lips and makes suggestive movements with her fork. “Isn’t it obvious? We take a sharp tool and peel the skin from his forehead. I didn’t scrape deep enough to scratch his skull.”
I shouldn’t have asked.
Seria’s eyes turn to the horizon. “If you are done eating, we should go.”
I get up and dust off my dirty clothes. “I understand. We have to hurry.” Then my eyes wander to the sizzling meat on Seria’s improvised stove. “Don’t you eat anything?”
She shrugs. “Nah, it’s just a few more jumps until we are home. No point in eating that nasty stuff.”
I feel my own expression turn sour. “I thought we have a long way ahead of us?”
She shakes her head and smiles. “I just wanted you to experience the culinary delicacies of Dedessia. No point in missing out on the good stuff if we run right into a rockcrawler.”
The good stuff? I still have the vile taste in my mouth! “I’ll get you for this. I don’t know how, but this calls for revenge.”