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  1. Today
  2. It took me a couple of hours to figure out what the RM devs had changed in the source code when developing MV's default plugins by defining functions with names that were never used in the RGSS based engines. Even so, that didn't prevent me from publishing KItemAlert MV! XD

  3. kyonides

    KItemAlert

    A New Port Has Arrived! Now MV can also enjoy the benefits of using the KItemAlert plugin!
  4. Yesterday
  5. Remi-Chan

    The Tome with No Name

    My second book. Also my longest running. Though I don't like the ending as much as the earlier chapters... but I'm curious what you think. -By Remilia Esoterica Martin Interlude The breeze crawls through the cafeteria, wafting the stench of poorly-prepared food through the nostrils of all unprepared diners, the growling in their bellies in unrest. The windows to outside far higher than can be gleaned through, the sightly advantages of the upper balcony made horrific by the wafting odor of the food rising to rest on the roof. Some seem unsettled, some near pass out- some lick their lips. One however is entirely not paying attention to that, or anything going on around, or even anyone around. A singular focus homes in on her own work, even though she does not wish to be a part of this picture, she shall try anyway. She doesn’t introduce herself to you, nor to me—she has no need to, she has never needed to, we already know her by designation, by purpose. She is the Queen of Shadows, no other name dignifies her, and if one did, she has long since forgotten what it was or could be. And while she dines and studies at what is indeed an academic institution that can cater only to the most hungry and most casual of learners, she is here not for the food nor for the academics, it could almost be said that she is not here at all. No one understands her, she sits alone at an empty table, alone like always, she’s used to it. She’s been lonely for over 314 billion years, this school is but a mere tick in her expansive timeline. She’s an unusual girl, and the students tend to leave her be, hair down to her ankles, tied up into six long wavy ponytails, black as the night sky, with grayed skin and deep purple eyes. They don’t want to judge, the few that have... have never been seen again. Chapter 1: Introductions of a Sort Some do occasionally make an attempt to talk to and engage with this lonely seeming girl with her head in her books, but it usually devolves into nothing much. She often doesn’t have incredible issues speaking to them, but they find it hard to keep up with her. Their idea of smart is so childish to her, but maybe we’ll let this play out naturally, so as to better show the large gap between the students and this girl with no name. Charlie: Hey miss, my name’s charlie! What’s yours? Girl: A name isn’t needed for one of my status, it’s nice to meet you charlie. Charlie: hehe, you’re funny. Is that a book? It’s all I ever see meet your eye contact, you must be pretty smart! Girl: Well, no I wouldn’t say I’m smart, not in the kind of aspect you relate such a meaning to... When you say “I must be smart” that comes from an understanding that smart means knowledgeable, when in reality they could not be more different. And there are many ways in which to be smart, in some I am, in others I am not. Charlie: Woah! Girl: I mean, I’m smart with words when I need to be, but I may as well be muttering as far as this conversation goes. Charlie: That’s all a little too deep for me Miss whatever your name is or isn’t! I gotta go to class but keep at it! And these are the most favorable encounters, let’s look at some less bubbly examples. Melissa: Who even is that girl? She rarely speaks to anyone, all that time in her books yet still in primary school- does she just never learn or is something wrong with her? Katie: I know right? Eyy, girlo, whatever you name is! Do you know there’s this thing called college? Melissa walks a little closer to the girl with hairs standing on end, she has little tolerance for loud people. Melissa: Are ya deaf? Can you see me? Melissa steps back as the girl slams her book with an ungodly crack of thunder. Before glaring holes into her like she intended to set her face alight with her eyes. Girl: If only I *was* deaf to the voices of a shrill harpy clamoring for everyone’s attention. It is unwise to anger such a powerhouse of refined shadow arcana. Art by RiseDemos Melissa: Yikes! Jeez, who do you think you are? You know this is a primary school right? What kinda “queen” or whatever hangs out in a primary school? The library of a college could probably make more use of those books! Girl: Good question, here’s another... why does such a delinquent think she’s even qualified to learn here when she chagrins others she barely knows for being too well read? Melissa: Gerh!? Katie: Hey hey, sorry about that! Come on, Melissa, let’s just go! Girl: You’d be wise to listen to the more socially aware friend of yours, Melissa. Much as you may doubt my queen status, you’ll learn very quickly why I’m associated with shadows if you keep up this obnoxious gambit. Melissa: Fine! You’re not worth my time anyway! Melissa walks away in a huff as the Girl returns to her books. Quelling disruptions was not unusual for her, she’d become pretty good at knowing how to crackdown on certain people, and could quickly turn the tides due to the vast amount of varying places she’d visited to study. But let’s have our relevant example to set this stage, it takes place on a day that is also the day mentioned prior. The girl pockets her spellbooks in an ethereal portal with no one paying it much mind, and goes to sample some of the less awful smelling food. While the natives on this planet often had no issue turning down the food they were used to, most of it was new to the girl- and she had no chagrin from trying a little. There was very little that would upset a stomach as ancient as hers. She returns with a variety tray, stabs her curvy barely-efficient fork into the tender chicken bites, puts one in her mouth and starts chewing... it is... my god- it IS... yeah “okay” she guesses? Could use a little less chicken salt, but beyond that she sees no issue devouring each and every one of them. Out of the corner of her eye she sees one of the senior students, a male they make fun of for his name, but is otherwise pretty respected due to being tall and pretty charismatic, but he’s also transparent as glass. The girl can see there’s much he will get defensive about, and his name isn’t one such thing. But he’s insecure, despite having so much, he thinks he has so little- she can hear faint mumbles from the boys, pretty clearly they’re encouraging him to go ask her for food so he doesn’t take theirs. Fair enough, she did get a pretty decent platter, but she’s a queen, she’s kind of entitled to it, and the thought of showing this guy he can’t have absolutely everything he wants would be worth it for the selfish act she may not personally be so typically fond of, as this thought finishes processing, she hears the clamor of cutlery as he gets up. She can tell he’s got a tall and intimidating presence, it won’t scare her of course, but she can see how he got so far as he did. Breston: So, is that a feast for a queen or do you mind if I grab some? Girl: The feast of royalty does not invite a peasantly rube, now shoo before I put this greasy fork through your heart. His friends burst into laughter, coughing on their own meals, they probably set him up knowing how this would go for him. She’d be proud of them if they had chosen to involve anyone but her in this unsportly script. Breston’s face shrivels up like a prune on a warm day, and goes red like a traffic light when everybodies gotta get their stop on and slam the brakes. Okay it’s not that red but it’s still pretty visibly red. Breston: Excuse me? He can barely get out these last two words of politeness. The erosion of the word between his teeth was like tinfoil being caressed against a cheese grater. Girl: Did I stutter or something? The girl grabs another chicken bite from the platter and puts it in her right cheek, and chews a little before continuing. Girl: Is this your first time hearing a rejection? Truly, the tragic life is yours, woe is you, and so on. Breston’s face is creasing up in a bizarre arrangement of embarrassment, shock and anger, it’s a sight to behold. He manages to uncrease a little and exhales. Breston: Alright, keep it then, selfish hag. Breston walks off in dejection but also some anger, anger that he, the great Breston, just got that told “No, no you can’t have the food of someone else!”, yeah, that’s some wicked shit she just did to him. And he’s not soon to forget it. However before he can calm down fully he hears her speak and his ears prick up. He wants a reason, and she better darn deliver. Girl: Selfish is the man who demands the food of comfort from the lonely for himself when there is plenty otherwise available. But if that’s the comfort you need to get you through your shallow victory of a life... The girl smirks for the first time anyone has seen, Breston’s friend’s eyes almost pop out of their skull upon seeing her being so unusually playful. Girl: Then a “no” it remains... bye~ She turns back around, she darn-well delivered. And she is expecting a reprisal, victory was hers already, of course- but she found messing with people fun in small doses. Breston feels his face crack, he turns back around to her, you can hear the creaking fury as his neck allows his head to look back at her calm uncaring demeanor. He is enraged, no one makes a mockery of Breston! Breston: You got some more clever lines you wanna share, you spoiled sow!? Breston fumingly walks up around her and then infront of her, his shoulders raised and his tall body on display. His friends watch in a mix of shock and worry, worry not for her, no... for him. Breston: Just who in the hell do you think you are!? He tilts his head down while he leans in to glare at her, he might have scared her if she wasn’t already running laps around the buffoon. Girl: It’d be unwise to force me to compare the two of us. Though I would ask you to get out of my light, and your breath isn’t the most pleasant thing to endure, either. She pulls out a napkin to wipe the few small specks of grease and crumbs on her face off, elegant as a jewel while being threatened by an imposing tower of meat and bone baring its teeth. Girl: I would also recommend you step away from me this instant, or your ego being crushed like a clumsy ant will be only the second worst thing that happens to you today... His friends shoot up out of their chairs and pull his clenched fists behind his back, tugging him from the unwinnable conflict, he’s a mighty breed of man but still only a man and his friends manage to pin him down on the ground. They tell him it’s not worth it, they are doing this for his own good, and other such things to stop him from doing something stupid. She notes their perception of how one-sided a duel between them would be, she might even be impressed if they weren’t the ones initially responsible for plunging this predicament into play. She smiles with a mild sense of amusement, and sits back down to her books, as if nothing had ever bothered her. A Teacher ends up on the scene and sees the struggling mess of students writhing about on the floor like a dog asking to be given god damn belly rubs. Miss Gahree: Break it up! Breston, Principal’s office now. You boys, return to your seats! It’s as if she knew that Breston was the one who made all this explode, and that his friends were just looking out for him. Perhaps she did know. Only she could say, and it’s unlikely she’d tell you or that she’d get the chance to, because enough about that teacher, it’s time to be a he now, instead. You are Breston Cantrope, you’re in the principal’s office for getting fucking owned by an unusual girl with a penchant for shoving her royal blood in your face. You hate her guts, you hate your friends just a little for not letting you teach her humility, but it’s fine! Everything is fine! This principal is a *Guy*, he’s blunt, but he GETS you, and you like to think you get him. Oh shoot, here he comes! Heck, this can’t be too bad, you didn’t even land a punch! Principal Briefs: Well Breston it looks like just once you manage to get in my office without landing a punch. I’d say good job but that would be too folksy a way to start this off. So, before I go making any bold assumptions, tell me your side of the story. See? Pretty fair guy, honestly you’d like to be a better kid just for his sake, but then you wouldn’t see him as often, and that wouldn’t do! Unfortunately, this may put your friends under the bus, since they were the ones who prompted you to do this in the first place... but then, this Principal knows you well, so screw it. Breston: My friends told me if I was still hungry I should go ask the bewitching grey girl for some of her royal platter. I was like “I dunno dudes she seems kinda happy to keep ‘em to herself” and then they’re like “is big Breston scared of the witch”? and obviously I couldn’t just say “No, I don’t wanna” then, I’d be a wimp! She’s just a grey girl with a creepy infatuation for books, so she can’t be much more unpleasant than a librarian... boy was I wrong. I asked her pretty politely for some food?? But she kinda seemed like she was having a day with my attempt, and one thing lead to another. She got me angry, I tried to punch her, but my friends pulled me down before I could. Principal Briefs: Ah, well I see you’ve learned dishonesty isn’t worth the effort. He begins writing down stuff in a notebook he never shows anyone. Principal Briefs: So basically, you asked for more than your fair share, got told “No” and went a bit off the deep end? Breston: Well I mean, maybe! But she was very rude! She even threatened me with a fork in the heart! Principal Briefs: And once a threat is made, what do you do? Breston rolls his eyes, he had to admit he’d goofed now, there was no sailing wind of a moral high ground or being the bigger man carrying him through this one. Breston: “Tell the teachers or principal.” Briefs almost seems to chuckle hearing Breston’s once smooth demeanor slow to a depressive stop. But he reforms his composure. Principal Briefs: It’s a good thing your friends stopped you, you know? She may look about as intimidating as a librarian, but there’s a reason your friends were worried about your attempt to land an attack on her. Breston: Wuh? I mean she’s just a... student, isn’t she...? Briefs stands up and looks out his window, folding his arms and his hands meet at his back. He has a view over the cafeteria where it went down. Principal Briefs: She’s no doubt an unusual student, even we don’t begin to comprehend her. She showed up one day, no enrolment, and said she wished to study at the school- when we made it clear she was too old for the curriculum, she just left the office and sat in the cafeteria, and has not much moved from that spot, she never goes home, she never sleeps, she’s here to say goodbye to the cleaners after they leave. Breston: Isn’t that illegal? Briefs sighs Principal Briefs: We tried many times to send her home, they all ended in ... The view of the cafeteria flickers through a hefty amount of gruesome scenes with the only visible details being an unharmed girl and puddles of blood around her before Brief’s vision returns to the present. Principal Briefs: Failure. Breston’s demeanor shifts into a more rigid kind of look. He’d been shook by the Principal’s foggy recount of events. Principal Briefs: Listen Breston... if you really must continue this trend of using intimidation to steam roll through your life, don't use it on people that radiate that presence that she does... she isn't so calm and unfazed for a reason. Breston: What? What is she even here for... are you saying that- Principal Briefs: The school cannot control beings of her magnitude. She'll show up some days, and then disappear for lengths of time, then be back again, with no enrolment or evidence she was ever a student enrolled at all, but what we did learn early on is that trying to force her to exit the school went disastrously, and now we’re too underfunded to attempt it ever again. She doesn’t cause harm unless it’s brought to her, so we decided it would be safer for everyone else to let her be. Breston is stunned aback, he can’t believe what he is hearing, but it explains many things, and why she is ALWAYS there, and besides, why would Principal Briefs lie to him? Principal Briefs: If there are any people you aren't inclined to mess with, mark her on your list. If she followed through with her threat- as she’s had little trouble doing if the past is anything to go by-- there's nothing we at the school could do. The School bell rings, the day is done. Breston walks home, not entirely as shattered as he thought he’d be, but now he’s a little scared, for what he thinks is the first time he’s been scared. Who is this girl? What did Dr Briefs mean by all the ominous babble about her? He decides to press it to the back of his mind and get some sleep, after some choice video games of course, no way to cure the feeling of getting fucking owned than by fucking owning someone in a game. You are the girl again, yes, that one in particular without a name, or more, you’re watching her, and we’re telling you it’s her. She’s in the same spot, a cafeteria, only now it's night time, the lights are all off, but she has candle light, she’d rather it than the artificial lights of this over-modernized planet anyway. She is reading through a tome on Sociocratic Death Magicks, not the kind of book you’d find in a primary school library, or unlikely anywhere on this Earth, she’s scrawling slight adjustments to some of the instructions, clearly having found ways to better perform the rituals. The night breeze rolls though the windows and sets her face in a moonlight sheen, her gorgeous purple eyes are cast in the shadow of a thick outer rim, while her white sclera make the transition harsh and very unusual. Her six red bows tieing her hair flap lightly in the spring breeze. This world had many charms, but very few of them were those of the inhabitants making. Her smooth greyed fingers flipped through the pages, her dull expression of being mostly bored or invocative sometimes shifting to a look of query or introspection. She made every second of silence count. Her victorian-style violet-velvet dress with evening straps connecting the two piece ensemble was hard to find anywhere else. She was truly alone in everything she did, and unlike most, she was complacent for it to stay like that. She needs only some glimpses into societies she would outlive to keep her from going down a dangerous mental spiral, the interactions with those who were forced to tolerate her were what separated her from the dreary haze of falling into nothing. Though she welcomed the lonely nights eager to get into studies, the days she would eagerly wait to see if students would approach her, and observe their varying ways of reaction. Breston’s breed was a bit too common for her liking, she prefers the youthful naïve optimism of some of the others, who were excited by what she was, but didn’t have a hope in joining her. The minutes turn into hours, time goes fast for someone who has lived so long, the sound of the nearby birds pin that its morning as does the first sliver of lighter blue cascading through the sky. She places the book at the bottom of the stack, and begins reading through a more humane looking article in wait for the encounters of the day. The school bell rings it’s obnoxious tone and the kids rush in for an early breakfast. One of the girls rushes over immediately to our girl. Aisha: Hey… did Breston try to have a go at you yesterday? Aisha sounds concerned, our girl smiles and closes her eyes relaxed to put her worry at ease… Girl: He made an “attempt.” But I don’t think he will again, and if he does, don’t go sticking up for me. I may look like a very pensive librarian, but there’s a reason I’m not scared of anyone. Aisha: Awww!!! The girl's blissful sense of joy completely nulls out her sense of dread, it’s like you can see love hearts and lightning bolts just pop out of her, she’s loud but a kind of loud you can stand, even enjoy in small doses. Aisha: The other kids may not think much of you but far as I see it you’re the right berries! Keep doing the good work, Miss… whoever it was~ The girl with no name has to hold back a laugh, it’s unusual for the naïve joy and cluelessness of kids to tickle her this much, but that was a little too god damned wholesome, you need Breston in here to keep the crazy spiralling hayfever of emotion in check. Breston: YAAWWWWWNNNNNNNNN And like that was his cue, the well-slept imbecile makes his daft entrance, stretching out his long as fuck arms as he stretches and yawns like a cat on a good day, and with the clear intent of making this everybodies god damned problem- and so order is restored. His friends go to greet him, and apologize for telling him to do that, they didn’t think it’d rile him up so much. He’s all like “It’s cool, he’s had worse. Ha ha.” After all the greeting noise disperses, Breston makes a timid bee-line and asks if he can sit nearby the girl he now appears to see in a whole new light. Girl: That’s fine. Breston sits opposite her, his originally calm and macho demeanor has become a little less vivid, there’s something new engulfing him now... it’s either terror or something he ate. She won’t punish him any longer, the piggy learned it’s manners and is now wetting the bed in front of her, as in, he’s sweating so much it's looking like he could wet his bed. Not an uncommon thing for “victims” of her mild wrath, but it is particularly unsettling seeing the shift so jarringly from one day to the next. Girl: By that look all over you, it seems you no longer see me like the rest of the rabble. You know now something of what I am. She puts her hand pensively to her chin, as if observing him in all his bed-fresh glory, only her eyes are half closed, so she just looks very very unimpressed, which is a much more apt reaction. Girl: You’re a lucky kid, Breston. You have friends that will keep you out of danger's warpath. Girl: Had they not pulled that punch of yours for you… An uncanny breeze sweeps through the place, clearing the stench of leftovers from the day before, virtually no one is unsettled, that of course, does not include Breston. He is quite very unsettled… Girl: You’d be the guest of honor at your own funeral. Breston can almost hear a clash as the final word leaves her lips. As she goes back to sipping her tea that she appropriated for herself without anyone’s permission whatsoever, Breston feels fear he never knew he had. The world around him goes silent, eventually he’s woken up by a light slap on the face. Girl: Wake up. Breston: Uh… sorry you uh, you kinda scared the shit outta me. Girl: Don’t let your fears overtake you, so long as I remain unharmed, so will everyone else. I only give back what people put in. Brestons demeanor calms a bit, and hearing her words has put him at ease. He believes them even if he may not believe her. His mind is now interested in knowing more about her. Breston: So… what exactly are you? After what I heard from the principal yesterday, I’m ready to believe anything. Girl: Ah~ I see curiosity has replaced fear, that’s good. Very well, I am the Queen of Shadows, and I hail from elsewhere in the universe. Breston: You’re an alien? Girl: In the eyes of yours, yes. For one as old as I am, you learn alienation is but a symptom of secluded societies- it’s only fair you be malefacted by such simplistic perceptions. Breston: uh… and how, old are you? Like, 30, 28? Girl: Kehehehehehe~ That’s her limit, the unintentional flattery of one who did not understand or believe in immortality was too charming to bear, she starts laughing in a sweet giggly tone. Breston: Did I… say something funny? Girl: Aha~ No no, it’s just that’s such an obviously unintentional bit of flattery. I’m older than your current universe, one of your life spans is not even a three-point-fourteenth of mine. Breston: Ehh? Can you just say a number instead of being coy? Girl: I’m at least 314 Billion years old, to put it one way. Breston: Waaat??? I mean I believe you but, that’s nuts! Say why are you hanging around schoolkids if you’re like, some eternal geyser. Girl: Because the barbarian’s manners have a way of being charming when they don’t make me wish to cut the barbarian's throat. Breston: EEE! I’m sorry I’m sorry! Girl: To put it in terms you’ll understand, my life has been running so long, seeing lives so young and unfulfilled as yours, full of excitement, worry and regret and all those emotions, it helps me keep myself oriented. As you may guess these books aren’t ones you’ll find in any primary school’s library. Girl: I have visited others, until they’ve tried to… evict me. The schools go out of their way to remove the mysterious elven girl to keep their cafeteria safe, by sending in men with guns and remote detonators into a school full of children and teachers. And everytime, I protect them and remove the assailants. The reason I’m here more often is because they realized their error to remove me before they ended up in bankruptcy, and were more subtle in their attacks, attempting them at night when no one was watching. Breston: Why don’t you move, like, just get outta the way? Girl: Because that enables a society of Brestons. The sound of a hammer hitting a nail plays out in Breston’s head as he realizes that he was a creature she absolutely abhorred. His very shell being split like a plank under the pressure of a hammered invader. Breston: Do you… hate me? Girl: No. You’re too meaningless to put energy into hating, I don’t approve of what you were yesterday, but wouldn’t you say there’s been a bit of a change, lately? Breston: Yeah, you’re not wrong, the principal told me not to... get on your bad side I guess? Among a few other things... I tried to push it back, and I was able to sleep well, but seeing you in here today- I had to ask you myself. Girl: A good choice, rather than trying to shove it off and stave that despair, which one day would surely explode in your face, you were courageous enough to face it. If there is a man in you, it’s there, in that ability to be brave. Although you were initially brave yesterday, your aura reeked of a pig living in a prince’s skin, it was only natural a simple rejection would spur you on. I wanted you to justify whatever hell you’d bring upon yourself. She looks over to the table where his friends are sitting, talking about opulent japanese comics and whatever other modern chicanery they could get away with in earshot of the teachers. Girl: But, you do have friends. And they respect you as a brave Man, not as a pig or a prince. I think you understand what I’m getting at. Breston: Yeah... and here I was thinking I’d teach you humility! Ha... Girl: You don’t know me well enough to teach me anything. That was your error, but it is not your fault... there is no way you could have known what you do now. Even had you been told, I’m sure you can imagine how you’d translate the information. Breston: Ehe... probabl- A crunch is heard as one of the teachers is suddenly looming over both of them. One of her pens has just been snapped by the anger presenting itself firmly in her wrapped fist. Breston looks up to see a mole of a woman, about 4 foot with glasses the size of spinnerets, and silky hair as nightmarish to match, is looming down at him. Girl: Excuse me, Miss Bhavaria. Your dispute with the barbarian can wait. Miss Bhavaria looks to scold the out of line student giving her orders, but her face melts into a sweet humble smile upon seeing who it is. Miss Bhavaria: Ohohoho~ I’m most sorry, dear. You finish talking to the lad, I’ll go get some crumpets. Before departing, she presses her nose into the so-called barbarian’s upper clavicle, and wrinkles up her face like a bulldog fresh out of the creasing factory. Miss Bhavaria: This isn’t over, Cantrope! She in one swift motion, returns to her sweet elderly frame and skittles off like her feet are tapping gently adrift a xylophone. Girl: You were saying? Breston: Yeah, probably... I’d be all like “Waha, yeah sure, and I’m the prince of new denver.” And shove it all off as superstition. Girl: There’s only so much a human mind can see before it starts refuting, the ethical choice to rely on the purchase of superstition is a way to distance ourselves from our fears. Girl: To put that in Breston terms, yes- that’s likely how you’d have gone about it. Breston: Eh- Still with the demeaning, I see? Girl: Why not, are you telling me you don’t enjoy the challenge of an intellectual battle? You seem to enjoy physical challenges enough. Breston: Maybe, but I’m not very good with words or numbers, mostly I can put together what you say, but some of it is probably gonna get all... translated, y’know? Girl: That’s perfectly fine, I’ve put you through enough. Your Earth is in no danger from me, I’m merely using it as a means of recreation, and while it’s true I could break it into countless eons of splinters before the thought had occurred in your head to try and stop me, you needn’t fear anything. My power has next to no use in this world. None of you pose a threat to me, and I will only remove those who try to bring harm to me. Breston: Yeah... I think I kinda already knew, just wanted it from the source, thanks, you didn’t have to put my mind at ease like this. Girl: I didn’t, but I wanted to. You are to be rewarded for your courage. Have a nice day, Breston. She goes back to sipping her tea which is still steaming hot. Breston’s fear has faded, and he now kinda respects and appreciates what and who she is, just someone lonely who needs a little social now and then. Imagine, being so insanely powerful that the only thing you have to deal with is loneliness? Crazy... maybe in another life, he’d have been stricken by love for such an outrageously in control woman, perhaps pleaded to go back with her to her own planet, but right now, he’s Breston Cantrope, he’s got friends, a reputation and now a new better look on life. The moment he retreats from his chair, a shriek echoes from across the mummy’s lair. MISTER CANTROPE!!!! Oh shit it’s the bulldog woman, you guess you’ve left her in the lurch long enough. Breston: On my way, Miss Bhavaria! Breston takes one final look at her, once more pensively skimming through her books, a smile wears his face, and the smile and the barbarian go to meet their hobgoblin hierophant. End of Chapter 1 Intermission from the Author Hey, sup my dudes and dudettes and all other appropriations of dude the flag of rainbows demands, I hope you’re enjoying this unusual book so far. This all actually started as a sort of Dream Diary for one particular dream I had, only instead of the Queen of Shadows it was Patchouli from Touhou for some unremarkable reason. Basically the gist is if you’ve enjoyed this wholesome as fuck chapter, well, that’s good, because while strife may ensue, and the tests of your limits may be patienced, there will be so much more wholesome stuff coming!! The book is an ode to no matter who you are, even if you a being so old we can barely stand to verbally count aloud all the numbers preceding such a number, as it may well take the greater consumate of our human lifes to do so, you can be that kind soul who shows people their way in life before they are consumed by the machine that reigns supreme in their world. Questions to the reader: You don’t have to answer me these unless you really want to, these are just great questions to ask yourself, regardless of mood, as they will make your mood in most cases more good! 1. How would you approach this Queen of Shadows, would you try to play the bard and seduce this uninsterested bookworm who will outlive you? Or will you do something more cheery like Charlie or Aisha did, or judge her and see how hard she fucking owns you? Either way, i think we all have a lot to learn from this well-read little ninny. So remember that while her scoldings are crushing, and her inflections a little deep. It’s because she wants you to think about who you are and if you’re happy being like that. Or are you truly who you are or is it you’re being who someone wants you to be. Look at Breston, he’s a party guy who his friends clearly admire but also like to see get owned, but they all have a sorta respect for each other, but then Breston gets his shit wrecked by this girl he thinks is too impetuous, without realizing how self-important he came across to everyone. 2. Did you know Breston has no decent father in his life? Why do you think he looks fondly upon the Principal, and wants to spend time with him? There’s a reason Breston is the way he is, he wants to be seen as big and strong, even though he’s got a big heart that is so much more valuable. Did you figure this out in that passage, that he craved a responsible father figure in his life? 3. Why do you think the kids, teachers and so on mostly accept this girl, despite her having grey skin, deep purple eyes, an unusual amount of hair and other such unusual notions? Is it because they are afraid she’s more than she seems, or is it that they are endlessly curious, and observe her in hopes one day they may catch a glimpse? Thank you for taking the time out to answer those to yourself, more to come! But for now let me explain a core mechanic of the Universe before this goes any further. The first chapter was indeed, to introduce the maiden of every chapter, she who has no name, as well as her thoughts on the world she was spending time in. We still don’t know much about her, would you believe she has a kid of her own? Hah, more on that later. Point is you’ve probably already gotten a good idea of the kind of person she is, even if there’s a lot of fluff, even very important fluff- missing, like where she’s from, how she got through all these years, and how she became so powerful, more of this will be gleaned into as we delve further into her story. What’s important is that you notice the shift in persons, you may have noticed we always refer to the Shadow Queen from the third person, using things like ‘she’, `the girl`, etc, but switched it up for other characters. The reason for that is that to think we could be her, and that I would call you her- is just silly. None of us can hope to be her, only she can. But we can hope to be other people, such as Breston Cantrope, who have simpler minds, easier for us to read into and get all gritted between our teeth like some nice juicy meat. It gives her the privacy she desires and the distance you need. You aren’t ready to be her, and it’s unlikely you ever will be, and you wouldn’t want to be. One second of her life is several years of yours. Hoping to be anything like her is silly and reckless. Don’t be a Breston on us! She’s had her losses, too. But basically, we’ll jump into the minds of other characters, but only hers from a third person. It’s how she wants it, and I don’t disobey my queen. Chapter 2: The Black Hole of Eternity She claps her book shut and decides to reminisce, she’s not got any more edits to make and time is on her side, it always has been, or at least since... the experiment. 400 Billion years ago, a young girl wakes from her cocoon of pink fluffy cotton candy, ejected from the pink sun like a wet fart and breezily carried to Spriteopia on the solar winds that the Spellweaver had place to ensure her favoured creations reach their homeworld. On this day, the girl is given a name, one she can not remember today, but certainly could then. She is given some wonderfully colorful clothes, and lives a happy carefree childhood in the company of her friends, bouncy, full of energy, and naive to the terrors of the universe... one day, she meets a being she has always called friend while most call her Terror, a being even older than her, and by preposterous leagues. ???: Ah, aren’t you adorable? Full of energy, you’d almost be a worthy recipient, but you don’t quite have the spark I’m looking for... Girl: Hello miss, who might you be? ???: Ah, refreshing is the child’s politeness, if there’s anything that miserable Spellweaver is good for, it’s making enjoyable kids. The being in a long grey cloak with unusual eyes sits down on her knees to be on level with the child. ???: You’re too irresistible, I seem to have no choice but to give you my real name. Girl: Ehehe, and that? ???: Is Yi Hellrider, my dear little cupcake- now run along with you, if you spend too long looking at me, I won’t seem so friendly~ Girl: Okay miss, thanks! The girl gallops off, having felt not a shred of fear from this triangle-eyed draconic being. Yi Hellrider: Cute kid... reminds me of me... me before I had my childhood CRUSHED by peasants! She looks back to a blue faerie who has recently joined her, floating down from above. Yi: And I trust you won't crush hers like you seem to like doing for so many of your kids. Blu the Spellweaver: If it is as you will, then I shan’t. What would you have of me, Yi? Blu the Spellweaver… an aspect of magic who is surprisingly thoughtless!? Art by Xiie / Bearsqueak Blu feels her heart jump back a foot, she knows she isn’t supposed to call the Insidious Architect by her real name, she really hopes IA didn’t catch that. Yi Hellrider: IA will do. As for you, just figured I’d give you a little bit of a spoiler, casual as it may be, as nothing you can do will stop it, let’s say I’m playing a little game? Heheheh~ Blu: Uh, very well, what game is this about, IA? Yi Hellrider: That cute little kid who greeted me like I was her pleasant next door neighbor is going to go on and do great things for people. Her people. She’ll shatter the very worldview you have of them, I’m sure. Blu: Aheh... Yess... fun game. Yi Hellrider: Quite! On another note, I’ll be on vacation until she becomes what she does, till then~ I’ll be WATCHING you. You are now Blu the Spellweaver, and you feel like you have just been fore-shadowably fucking owned by the absolute supreme power of the Universe. You feel fearful, Yi’s games are never any joke... in fact usually whenever she says a worldview will be shattered, she’s being as literal as one can get, but she also knows you will be helpless to stop it, that she was just unreasonably smug about it is just the proof in the planet-shattering premise. You swear Yi likes messing with only the good children and ruining their lives, it just isn’t fair! Why does the absolute supreme deity always have to be so good at cheesing you!? You decide to watch the girl carefully, the story will be in your eyes for a time. Gaily the one Yi mentioned skips home, happy as a bee, it may take several years for Yi’s prophecy to come about, but you can bet it will. Yi isn’t a supreme power who faffs about, there is heavy dangerous meaning to virtually all words she utters. The girl grows up well, taking an interest in hyper-intensive math, elated english and temple level destructive arcana, these are not unusual hobbies for a Cloud Nymph to pursue, especially if she considers going outward to adventure and explore incase she may need to fend for herself, but looking closer you find this girl’s attrition and affiliation with the black arts to be almost... catastrophic. She’s also using maths to make the spell circles for casting such spells even more precise and potent. Perhaps this is just the dream of a Chuuni child, to put all her points in the most destructive magic available because she’d rather show off than outright kill her aggressors, all you can really do is rationalize. This girl is loved by her peers and... Her people... HER PEOPLE?? It strikes you with all the concise strength of a croquet mallet, this is the first part of the prophecy unravelling, you wonder just how this will all turn out? You can’t and won’t intervene, she herself is likely unaware of the harm she may cause, you yourself aren’t even sure Yi meant harm, one thing that makes divine intervention easy to not do, is knowing that outcomes are absolute, and intervention may only accelerate the outcome, or support it from its onset. You decide to stop shadowing her, you’ve watched her enough to know Yi is not going to have any trouble getting your goat again, admit defeat, and go to bed. Demigods don’t need to sleep, but they may do so out of choice to pass time. So you do that. You wake up 20 years later, and decide to give your well-researched cupcake a look, she’s mature now, long purple hair in a nice red scrunchie with nice peachy skin, brilliant purple eyes and a more mature but still youthful happy expression. She is in a class talking about the cycle of origination and why re-origination is so important. You decide to really pay mind, if there’s any motivator for an ambitious destructive practise, it's when eternals learn that even they-- alike you-- will eventually be discarded, some to be reborn, but only the select few. Miss Maylaya: Sooo~ If we don’t re-originate a whole bunch of bad stuff happens, so that keeps our universe tidy, any questions? Yep... there she is, raising her hand, you had a feeling this would be it, you’re not sure if your waking time was madly convenient by sheer luck, or if you had just done a nano-calculation that made you aware of when she would be taking this class and set your internal alarm clock to wake you then. Miss Maylaya: Yes little cupcake? Girl: Are you saying that as eternals, even we have an expiry date? OW, right to the point, maths, bilinear english and a love of the black arts, they make for a painful combo, you watch Miss Maylaya almost faint. Miss Maylaya: Well, yes- I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. We do have an incredible amount of time left, though, so make the most of that time, my sweets! Class dismissed~ She may have fooled the kids with being so unfazed, but you know a teacher’s shock when you see it, knowing is kinda your thing, you purport knowledge. Still, curiosity isn’t evidence, she did only ask a question, you... may have to intervene after all... it looks like either way, Yi may win this one, you may as well make yourself the author of this tragedy, rather than the poor girl. You pull her aside when she begins leaving class. Girl: Oh, I didn’t see you there. What do you want of me, Miss? You look at her with the intense eyes, and then stand up right and turn all from her but your eyes. Blu the Spellweaver: Come with me, young one. I must speak with you. Girl: Okey~ I’ll see you fellas later! The friends shout happy goodbyes and see you soons, she doesn’t deserve the interrogation you’re about to give her. But it’s too late now, you’ve put your foot in it, time to take away some of Yi’s fun, it’s the only way to fight back. You transport her to your pocket dimension. Girl: Whoa, sure is blue and staircases in here. Blu the Spellweaver: You don’t need to act like you’re impressed for me, dear child. You sit her down, pour her some netherlight tea, and sit down opposite her with your own cup. Blu the Spellweaver: It’s good to see you’ve been enjoying your education so thoroughly, but I do have to bring something to your attention. Girl: Yeah? Blu: Show me the books in your bag, if you please. Girl: Okay. With only closing her eyes, she uses her impressive arcane talents to uplift the books out of her bag and onto the table, and you're terrified beyond words at what you see, she’s jumped eighteen levels of arcana since you last observed her, she had the ability to shatter the planet right NOW. You find your composure and get your thoughts straight. It doesn’t take you any kinda time, after all, you are the Goddess of thought, flow, magic and spells, be kinda odd if that sorta thing took you long. Blu: Your obsession with the Arcane Arts is... to put it mildly, concerning. Girl: Oh, yeah~ I wanna be as powerful as that Yi gal! The words break your heart, you’ve never heard such a genuine yet soul-shattering statement in a single fucking sentence, it’s taking all you have to not break down in either tears or laughter or rage at the simple way she said it. A Child playing Supreme Ruler? Yeah, like HELL that’s happening. But after collecting your thoughts, you’ve realized this provides you an undeniable counter, it may even foil this thread of Yi’s plan. Blu: Ah, well that’s a most... noble goal. Saying this hurts your pride way too much, you can hear cracks forming in your soul. Blu: But it is impossible to match an embodiment in power, as even if you reach your understanding of their power, they can continue to do so, their well is infinite, and they can draw on it with no limit. The girl looks defeated hearing you say this, you mighta just shattered her worldview, but still you’ll be glad if you can put this prophecy to bed. Blu: And unlike eternals, and even Demigods like me, the one you admire is eternal, she will live long after you and I are gone. Girl: Unless we can find a way to avoid origination, right? The girl starts displaying a plucky confident demeanor you’ve never seen in her before. This may not be as plausible as you thought. Blu the Spellweaver: Well, that’s unfortunately impossible. Even I can’t imagine a scenario in which that would work. The girl gleefully grins, before opening her eyes in a creepy manner. Girl: Never say never, Blu~ Nice chat! Before you can even respond to that shocker she just dropped- she’s arcanically packed up her books and teleported out of your dimension. THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T INTERVENE GOD FUCKING DAMN IT WHY DID YOU DO THAT?? Okay Blu, get your shit together, you think it’s time you quit fighting fate, you’ve just made it worse for yourself. It’s clear the girl already had plans to do this, and you just gave her the kick and reason to do it, yet again Yi shatters your fucking heart, it can only take so much! In fact, know what? You’re done, you’re going to sleep, you’ll set yourself to wake up a few years before origination. Maybe she’ll give up and get past it, maybe she’ll not do something so destructive and utterly stupid. Maybe she’ll consider Yi may not be the deity she thinks she is. Eitherway, you’re gonna get your sleep on and let her make the rest of her choices herself, you’re done playing fiddle to Yi’s coy horseshit, this universe can just go originate itself already. About 86 billion years later... You wake up, your sister Yasondre is waiting beside you... ready to hug you goodbye. Yasondre: You don’t make much of your time, do you? Blu: Kinda hard when Yi keeps shattering my soul, she broke me in... probably again. Yasondre: I’m sorry... I wish she’d pick on you less and... Yasondre tilts her face down while raising her shoulders, as if embarrassed to continue Yasondre: pick on me more. Blu: Don’t say that!! At least I can just be grumpy about it. Anyway, better go check on the cupcake and see if she’s turned into a beautiful butterfly. You say this with the most unremarkable level of sarcasm you’ve ever used in your current 314 billion year life. You’re sure one of the past iterations of you topped it, but you’re happy enough with it. It takes you a bit to find her, she’s created a shadowy capital in the core of Spriteopia, using mostly her magic, there- her and “her people” gather the reagents for what looks like a world-shattering spell. No harm to be done now, you decide to ask her how it’s all going and what the plan is. You can’t be bothered caring anymore, this iteration of you is more or less over, may as well have fun enjoying destructive curiosity. Blu the Spellweaver: Hey... how’s your... plan, going? Girl: Ah~ I thought I’d see you before now... Blu I’m gonna be right honest, you look like a shit rolled itself over your face to wake you up. Well THAT crude comment definitely woke you up, she’s developed one heck of a foul mouth during your nap of 86 billion years. You just pull a half-disgusted face to let her know you don’t approve of such potty remarks. Girl: Well, after a lot of research and investigation, I’ve discovered blackholes are ignored by the wave of destruction that begins origination, so by precluding ourselves in a black hole for five years, we will easily outmaneuver the inevitable apocalypse. Of course, as you’re no doubt aware, the creation of a black hole will also deprive us of our means of magic once the pink sun is gone, but I’ve found a solution to that, as well~ In fact it’s an all-in-one solution! Yep, right on the fuckin money, may as well answer for her. Blu: To create a new pink sun inside the core of this planet, creating a body of mass so impotent you’ll survive through arcane shielding and when you wake you’ll have a new pink sun at the offset, correct? Girl: I’m glad I didn’t have to explain all that. My version is quite a bit less abridged. You’re going back to bed, you turn and wave dismissively. Blu: Well, do as you like, these are your people now. Girl: Huh? You stop, did she seriously not understand what she was doing? You turn around to her, she looks genuinely confused by your statement. Blu: Don’t “huh” me! If it wasn’t your plan to prolong your existence against my intent then why did you cheekily bust out on me during our tea? Girl: Huh?? All I did was say “never say never!” I just... wanted you to be proud of me. I’ve never tried to do anything against your wishes? Sorry if i’m not... the best at communicating that. Your heart just fucking explodes at this point, this isn’t her being a creepy psycho or Yi getting the best of you, its you, it’s ALWAYS FUCKING YOU. You’ve shadowed this girl your whole life the same way the one you revile as a goddess shadows you, yet she holds nothing but admiration for you. You can’t help it, this... all of this suddenly makes you care. Tears escape your eyes and you just break down in tears. Girl: Huh?? What... What did I do now? Blu: Nothing... you did nothing wrong. You just flat out hug her, she was never the bad girl, and you’re so happy she looks so happy and pleased with what she’s doing, fuck Yi’s dumb shit. Seeing this beautiful cupcake bloom is the best damn thing that will ever happen in your existence, you’re gonna enjoy the fluff out of it! Blu: I’m sorry, I misunderstood everything. I’m so, so proud of you! Girl: Aheh... seems I uh... mighta confused you a bit. You regain your composure, and sit at the girls level, the same way Yi did this many years ago. Blu: I wish you all the luck for this to really work, I want more than anything for you to succeed! I myself am not a fan of the one you admire, but you are free to admire her as you like. You begin to walk away, so full of joy you don’t notice all the people cheering you on. But one thing does catch your attention. Girl: Blu, why not come with us? There’s plenty of room, and you’d be a guest of honor as any! You turn you head back to her. Blu: Hah? And deny the next incarnation of me the chance of something this special happening again? Don’t even count on it! You fly off back up to the surface, you’re done. You await in slumber for the universe’s destructive cyclic acceleration to tear you into nothing. You’ve had a good last one, it’s far more than you thought you’d get. Your heart is aflutter knowing this girl you mistook for a mischief maker was looking to do right by you all along. Back at the core, the other Cloud Nymphs are asking the one with no name what all that was about? She really doesn’t know how to answer, but one does... You are now Yasondre, you’ve felt the positive increase in Blu’s mood, and believe you have this cupcake to thank, you head down into her adorable underworld cubbyhouse and go to meet her and her followers. Yasondre the Fable Druid: I do not believe the girl knows the answer my sister did, but I may be able to help. Girl: Yasondre! Been a while, will you come with us? Yasondre: While i’d love to, I shouldn’t, couldn’t and therefore wouldn’t! But, I do know what my sister was dealing with, so let me explain it as briefly as I can. Yasondre: My sister is often invited by the one you so harmlessly call Yi to play games, where Yi will foreshadow an outcome, and my sister will try to figure out how it comes to pass, and if she can stop it. My sister got lost in the fears of what you may do, rather than trying to push you in a positive direction, not because she has any hatred for you, but just wanted to have you not go all creepy-psycho as she’d put it. This was all a part of Yi’s game, the emotional skyscraper, but what you just said has given my sister joy beyond comparison, she will now be able to be wiped from existence with a happy heart, and because she is happy, so will I. The surrounding Cloud Nymphs cheer for both you and the girl, a truly heartwarming outcome for such an uncertain narrative. Yasondre: Now, I must go join my sister, I wish you the best, too. You fly off out of her wonder cave and meet with Blu, and hug her through the passage of three years. Before long, you forget who you are, what you were, or that you were anything at all in the first place. But some do not share your fate. Waking from a five year slumber is a barely conscious greyed girl, followed by a lot of others, while they have slept nothing in a god’s time it is a pretty exhaustive nap for them. They wake up to see the skeleton of a blasted core, the black hole they’d created dissipating and an endless sea of stars beyond. They had done it. Not the first or only to do it, but they didn’t know that, and they were ecstatic! Girl: So, we’ve broken through... now let's put some of my power to use. The girl begins creating a labyrinthine maze of tunnels and rooms, stairwells and so on, and after much time, the core of the planet is rebuilt, her people settle in and they go about their lives, proud of what they’d all achieved, knowing they were now truly eternal. As the crowd and cheers disperse. She enters... Yi Hellrider: It has been quadrillions of years since anyone found a way to preserve themselves, I am most impressed, little cupcake. Now that you are old enough, may you tell me your name? You’re going to be one of the people I speak of much. Girl: I... I can’t remember... I remember everything else before we entered, but... that- that detail is gone. Yi: Haha, you needn’t use one. I’ve got a more fitting idea, you are one of a kind. There are only a couple, a distinct few among cosmic inumerable odds who manage to achieve what you did today. How does the Queen of Shadows suit you? I must say, the greyed skin, black hair and velvet pajamas are a good look on you. Girl: Huh? She retrieves a hand mirror and looks back at herself in shock. Girl: I’m... still beautiful, but what of... all this? Yi: Arcane magic has its price, your will is too strong for it to do any mental damage, but your hair and skin aren’t so resilient, it has also afflicted most of your people. Let them know it’s a side effect of the black holes, and while it is incurable, it is only cosmetic. The Embodiment of Terror has a nicer side?? Art by Remi-Chan Girl: Thanks, although these aren’t my people, they’re Blu’s. Yi: Oh? Kehehehe, well, that may have been so, but Blu is gone, and you’re the brilliant mind who carved this existence for them, it’s time for you to wear that crown of yours, you are the queen of your people now. It’d be hard to call you cloud nymphs, say you not? You dwell underground and live in shadows, I think Shadow Pixies will suit yours well. Yi: And also, it looks like the experiment robbed you of your wings. Girl: Wah? Oh... oh no! That’s the source of our power. Yi: Not to worry, you’ve all become so adept at Arcane magic, that you can generate it on demand now. If that weren't the case, you’d be naught but dust. Girl: Phew, well... that is a relief. I did not realize this venture would be quite so... destructive. Yi: it was a nice view, the world-shattering kind. I see a friend in you, Shadow Queen, do you see a friend in me? Girl: Always. All I learned, I learned to become as close to as powerful as you. Yi: Never say never, my dear friend. Now lead your people, before long, the pink sun and other cosmic bodies will form around, including the cloud layer. But my advice is... don’t communicate with the Cloud Nymphs too much. The idea of their world being shattered may not be as thrilling a prospect as it was to yours. Girl: I understand, we’ll be happy here. Yi: I’m counting on it, wish you the best~ Yi disappears, and a crown has been given. Of course, she has no plan to exercise any sort of order or control, her people behave and respect her, there shouldn’t be any problems. Girl: So I thought... We’re back in the night time cafeteria. It seems she has become tense, aware of her surroundings. Girl: So you think you can spy on me? End of Chapter 2 Intermission 2 If your heart went for a bit of a spin on that one, believe me- mine did too. I also had great fun expressing Blu in her moments of mental outburst. That was definitely a treat... jeez, am I Yi now? Speaking of her, Yi is another character we will never be able to “be”. But really, trust me, that’s for the best. Her role may seem at worst like a bit of a cruel prankster in this story, but the Embodiment of Terror is given that title for good reason. Now onto some... Reader questions! 1. Had you been in Blu’s situation, do you think you would have reacted to the Shadow Girls manners the same way? Keeping in mind Shadow Girl adores both Blu and Yi, but she’s nervous as heck around Blu and retreats when she feels she’s overstepped. She was just a slightly awkward child trying to make a better future, a longer lasting future, for her people... and was willing to take some massive risks to achieve that. Could you have been sussed all that out like Blu didn’t? 2. Did you feel sad that Blu and Yasondre both perished? Or did you feel happy knowing that they were both fulfilled. 3. Did you see the parallels between chapter 1 and 2, because there were lots of them. Give yourself a hug for each one you find! 4. Do you think Yi actually admires the Cupcake or just used her to play around with Blu’s emotions? When you think about it, Blu got the best kinda ending any iteration of her ever gets, so it’s fair to say it was never Yi’s intent to mess with Blu at all. Blu just lets herself be messed with far too easily. A couple other clarifications, Cupcake is not her pre-314 name, it was a nickname not unlike ‘sweetie’ or ‘gorgeous’. They don’t know her real name, she doesn’t know her real name, even Yi doesn’t know her real name, so we never will, either. Chapter 3: Imperishable Truth Our girl glares holes into us, it’s like she knows we’re observing her. Perhaps she does, but for whatever reason, she- oh snap! It’s not us she’s seeing. A Red dot appears on her face, and then more appear all over her, and in a mere flinch, a large array of gunshots are heard... but she is unfazed, she raises her hand, and the bullets stop mere inches from her person, and fall to the ground. Girl: Spying is one thing, attempts at assassination is another… She levitates an occult tome to her hand and the pages flip through to a dangerous looking spell. As she begins chanting the entire cafeteria begins to rumble from the sheer volume of power. Don’t get unclean with the queen!! Art by BlueTarte Girl: You can either flee or try to withstand magic older than this very universe... take your pick. 400 troops scuttle in to try and stop her, wearing mere SWAT uniforms, they find she has a barrier they cannot breach. One deploys a grenade and tells his other to fall back 50 feet, the grenade goes off, only to blacken the table near her with scorch marks. Girl: It seems you think you can withstand magic older than your very universe.... Her eyes glow purple as her incantation is complete Girl: So sealed is now your fate. A large number of snakelike purple serpents, made of arcane energy, writhe around the room piercing the bodies of all the law enforcers, only one remains... as she had planned. Girl: I gave them, you- the chance and choice to flee, a chance to weigh their and your options, yet when they and you cast the die, they died, and only you remain. Girl: And you will not stop to remain, go now and tell your superiors what transpired here. Lost for words, the man leaves in a most hurried of hurries. The girl returns to her usual demeanor of reading books before her ears pick up a subtle step slinking about... Girl: I know you’re there, Breston. Breston sheepishly walks into view, shocked and awed at what he had just seen. Girl: School was over six hours ago, you shouldn’t be here at this kind of time. Breston: I just wanted to see your power firsthand. Girl: I know why you are here, that doesn’t change the fact that you shouldn’t be here. Breston: I don’t get it though, I thought Briefs... this school had given up on evicting you? Girl: Briefs was let go yesterday, apparently they learned he was allowing dangerous foreign powers to reside in the cafeteria. Breston: So... this is your fault, then? Girl: Partially, it’s also the fault of your earthen agencies for not realizing when someone is above them. I’ve noticed a severe dysfunction in humans that when one won’t submit to their ideologies, they treat it like a dangerous foreign power, even going to unreasonable lengths to exterminate it. Yours is a very insecure species, to say the least. Breston: Ahaha... yeah we are kinda dumb like that! But I mean- I get why, we’ve been through a lot as humans, and we’ve always been able to fend off whatever dangers befall us, so we’ve gotten into a habit of thinking we can do anything, that we’re sorta strong? Girl: I pray Heldath or the Galaxions never take an interest in your planet, then. Breston: Heldath? Galaxia? Girl: Heldath is what you tend to call Hell, and they have a very real, albeit subtle presence on your world, while Galaxia is the home planet of the Galaxions, an empire that is leagues more dangerous than any Earthen army, luckily for your kind, the Galaxions went out of commission four centuries ago. Breston: Wait... you said the Heldath dudes- Girl: Heldathians. Breston: That Heldathians have a subtle presence here... does that mean, demons live among us? Girl: I’m not sure I should say. Tell you what, while I cannot give you a definitive answer, I can certainly say that many people among you may not be as human as you think. Breston: Why the need for such secrecy? Girl: Because there are delicate political systems at play, and human complacency is needed for them to thrive. I would seek to not disrupt said systems, as they play a vital role in the long-term health of the universe. Girl: In Breston terms, I should not spoil such things, else I bring harm to the social order your planet and species relies heavily on. Breston: Hey... question. You ever think about doing something big to help this world out? You seem to enjoy it enough. With your power you could accomplish a bunch! Girl: The biggest threat facing your Earth is the climate overheating, and to circumvent that would require a miracle beyond Gods or a complete deconstruction of the social order... Neither of these things are advisable, and I am not capable of miracles. Breston: Why not just use your crazy power to... I dunno- blackmail the president? Girl: Ehehehe~ It’s adorable that you still think the president has any power. He’s but a figurehead for corporate scumbags. Breston: What about just... destroying the coal power plants, that’d probably drop emissions by a lot. Girl: That would only be a temporary solution, but at least it would be very fun. The girl starts to stand up, she puts her closed hand pensively to her smiling mouth. It’s clear she’s fond of this destructive idea. Breston: Can I come with? Girl: Sure... I suppose you’ve earned that. The girl teleports herself and Breston to a very ugly, very large and unappealing coal power plant. She spends a little time thinking of how she may execute this one’s destruction, before placing her hand on the tome she brought with her. Girl: Stand back a little, and get ready to cover your eyes... The Queen of Shadows walks forward, before her tome levitates in front of her, she also levitates and begins drawing a large davids star with her hands. Breston: Cool... Girl: Utter the phrases of blackdeath muse, arise from this soil and filthy refuse, you as putty in my hands of power to abuse, launch into night sky, into space, to explode in violet hues! She raises her two hands skyward, and as if following her command, the seedy power plant is torn from its foundations and flung into the sky, into space- before exploding into violet and red fireworks. Breston watches in fascination, after moving his hands down from previously raising them to shield his eyes from the onslaught of dirt and dust sent outward from the violent separation of machine and mountain. Even the Queen of Shadows can’t help but offer a satisfied toothy smirk, she admits the poetics may not have been her greatest, but they were at least cheesy enough to warrant her some giggles. Girl: That was fun... Breston: Haha, yeah! You really are hyper-powerful. Wanna do another one? Girl: Don’t need to ask me twice. Yet again she teleports them, to a repulsive “monument” in Australia, a claw dredging coal from the Great barrier reef to fund a nation’s unjust power demands. Girl: This is such a big metal monstrosity you can actually see it from space. So as to honor its celestial esteem, I’ll give it to a star that can be seen from earth. Breston: Will I need to stand back? Girl: Not this time, if I ripped this one from the ground it would do too much damage to the reef, thankfully I can simply teleport it to the brightest star in the sky. She walks forward, yet again her tome readies itself at her beck and call, a large davids star rotates around the base of the oversized metal eyesore, and in a flash= it is visible no more. Gone in the flash, as if stolen by lightning, it now lived in a star, that burned ever brightly. This continued all night and into the morning, with Breston ever impressed by the powers at her calling. Eventually one last teleport would be made, quite unexpected, but one where Breston stayed. Girl: Enjoy your Saturday Breston, and if you want to watch the news, they might have something about what I did. Breston: Thanks for the teleport home, it was a fun night, Shadow Girl. Girl: Agreed. She teleports again, leaving Breston alone- to contemplate what he shall do his day at home. Two days pass, and the bell rings again, signalling the students to their usual lives. The Girl has been enjoying a couple nights of solitude, surprisingly no more attempts on her immortal life were made. Perhaps Earth’s agencies were beginning to learn? Unlikely though she thought, it’s not against her rules to dream. One of the pleasant student rocks up to her, happy as a bean, and sitting down on the seat opposite, she gets a more naughty look to her. Aisha: Hehe~ Had a bit of fun giving the brickhead a tour, did you? Girl: Hm? Sorry, I may be perceptive but your shield of coyness has prevented me from grasping at what you’re implying. Aisha: You were on the news! And Breston was with you, and you were doing pretty crazy things with power plants... I think they were? Girl: Oh... so they did decide to report on that. How effectively unexpected. Let me guess, they’re labelling me some kind of terrorist now? Aisha: Not only that! A WITCH. A real life WITCH. I know, stupid right? Girl: I mean... at least that's not incorrect. I would definitely fall into the Earthen designation of a “witch”. Aisha: Haha! Yeah I suppose after seeing you launch a coal power plant into ORBIT I can’t deny that much is true! Girl: Scared to ask, but was Breston seen as an accessory to my crimes? He was just eager to watch... but I know this state well enough to know they’d probably want to scapegoat him. Aisha: Oh, yeah he kinda got raided and taken to the station... The girl tries to keep calm, she can’t fail but to acknowledge she’d become a little endeared with Breston, not like she’s wanna take it anywhere, but thinking she got him in trouble wasn’t exactly a thrilling concept. Girl: When exactly did this happen? Aisha; Early Saturday if I recall? Girl: You… probably should have started this conversation with that part. Aisha: Huh? Do you actually care? Girl: Uh... Oh fuck naw she’d let it slip! Oh no!!! How could this HAPPEN?? Girl: A bit, being responsible for getting someone raided is a bit of a problem. I suppose I- She noticed red dots appear all over her... so the madmen finally did it, they finally decided to attack in school hours where innocent children are. This would not stand. Girl: Stay precisely still. Aisha: Uh... okay? Girl: Apologies for what you are about to see. Yet again she raises her hand, stopping the rounds after rounds of bullets from landing anything on her. All the students and teachers in the cafeteria have turned to watch, and look at her both in horror and awe. Finally the oppressors run out of ammunition. Girl: Attacking me in broad daylight while surrounded by young children, and you dare to call me a terrorist? When all I’ve done is throw inanimate power plants into space, and yet here you are scaring young children, how am I the one causing terror? Girl: I will give you the same choice I gave the attackers that engaged me a few nights back, you can either flee and live a life unscathed, or face a being who has studied magicks longer than this universe has lived. While saying this she starts levitating and sparking with arcane lightning. More red dots appear from other directions, they really aren’t screwing around this time. Though after her stunts a couple nights back, she can’t say she is exactly surprised. Girl: So this is your answer? Then your fate is sealed. Like before, she sends arcane snakes to undo her assailants, yet again leaving just one alive, unlike before, her rage with their audacity gets the best of her, and she pulls him towards her by the throat with arcane power. Girl: This is your idea of peacekeeping? Of negotiation? You make me sick. In the next breath she grabs his face and rushes his head into a nearby wall, slamming him against it brutally as cracks appear behind his now beaten body. Girl: You’re lucky there are children watching, or I’d do so much worse. She peels him off his cradle in the wall, and drops him in a crunch, he’ll live... but he may never walk again. The girl turns around to face the audience. Girl: Sorry all of you had to see that. Charlie: That was... sooo... Charlie: COOL! She protected us from the bad men! The students start cheering, the teachers offer a smile and clap, but look nervous, and our girl has a hunch why... Girl: Tell me, how is our new principal fairing with the news that his two attacks on me were unsuccessful? Silence quashes the hall, as a breeze flows through, almost like it needed to be there for the dramatic pause. Miss Garcia: It’s... probably best you talk to him directly. Truthfully I didn’t agree with his plan, but- The girl shakes her head. Girl: That can wait, I’ve gotten one of our students in trouble, and I’m the only one here who can rescue him. The students are my priority, the principal can hold his horses, though may I ask you to deliver a message for me to him? Miss Garcia: Yes, that should be fine. Girl: Tell him that if he gets it in his head to sponsor another horrific raid while I am not even here, then I’ll be removing his. Principal Perceival: Was that a threat I heard, Miss No Name? Girl: A better term is an ultimatum. Now while I rescue another student from the people you seem to enjoy spending so much money on, why don’t you explain to everyone here why you had the school raided in broad daylight when teachers and young children were present? The girl teleports out leaving a hall of angry glares and crossed arms shining the principals way. She arrives at the local Police Station, no need to be undiplomatic, she decides to just be a visitor... she’d rather get him out of here with less casualties than more. Sergeant Smallfry: May I help you, Miss? Girl: I’d like to visit my friend, Breston Cantrope. Sergeant Smallfry: Ah... no can do Miss, see he’s been moved to Central Station in Los Angeles. He confessed to damage of government property, the murder of hundreds of policeman and— Her eyes widen, before they slant. Girl: That was me, I did that! He was just spectating! Sergeant Smallfry: Well if you wanna protest your case you’d best be quick, he’s being sentenced to lethal injection tonight. Girl: I see. Bye. She teleports out, leaving the Sergeant dumbstruck. Arriving at the metropolitan police station. Nearby, she spots an LAPD paddy wagon being loaded with some kind of criminal, he’s not showing any resistance. Girl: Excuse me? She taps the shoulder of an observing officer. Officer Pines: Yes? Girl: Who may be the one being loaded into that police vehicle? Officer Pines: I believe that’s the terrorist Breston Cantrope... keep clear of him, he’s a nasty one. Killed hundreds of officers, arsoned a bunch of power plants and- He is cut off to see her rushing to Breston, who has a black bag over his head. Officer Pines: Ma’am! I would not recommend that! The police see the girl rushing towards them, and try to block off her path to Breston. She stops, but has no intent of being deterred. Lieutenant Morrison: Ma’am keep clear. This is a very dangerous prisoner. Girl: Let me guess, hundreds of murders, multitudes of arson and the like? Lieutenant Morrison: That’s the one. Girl: Small oversight officer, he’s innocent. I’m the one who did those things. Lieutenant Morrison: In that case you can hop in the paddy to death’s door with him. Girl: Fine. Lieutenant Morrison: Wait! I was kidding!? That was meant to deter you! Girl: You haven’t dealt with many criminals before, have you? She says this while elegantly hopping into the car with Breston. Lieutenant Morrison: Now you best remove yourself from the vehicle right this insta- He is cut off by a female officer. Officer Sandy: if she is so adamant, let her ride. If he doesn’t kill her we can sort out what’s going on after we arrive. The Lieutenant nods and signals for them to shut the doors. Once she’s alone with Breston she pulls off the black bag and glares at him. Girl: What the hell were you thinking? Confessing to all I’d done!? You made this rescue much more difficult than it was going to be already. Breston: I didn’t... I said I know my rights and I was just a spectator. But then they decided that they’d use me to clear their own record. They shoved a black bag over my head and whisked me away to here, and... yeah. Pretty scary! I didn’t think you would rescue me, to be honest. Girl: Even if I hated you I would. It’s a bad look if I allow students to get killed or harmed as a result of my antics. Now let’s get these flimsy cuffs off. Breston: Wait. If we escape here, they’ll just track you and me down wherever we go. And while you can easily deal with them, I can’t. Girl: I see, so we play criminal until we get to the ... death’s door place? Breston: Yeah, the one who ordered this unruly ploy should be there, killing him won’t settle anything, but you should be able to scare him into reversing the charges. Girl: Look at you~ The first day we met you barely knew table manners, now here you are making plans and being inventive. Breston: Hah, well you just tend to be a good source of— They hear the officers approach the van, Breston shushes the girl and puts the bag back on. Lieutenant Morrison: Now you two little devils behave... also Miss? I’m gonna need some identification. Girl: Don’t have any. Lieutenant Morrison: A name? Girl: Don’t have one, I go by The Queen of Shadows, though... if that helps. Lieutenant Morrison: ... you’re one piece of work, alright. They drive off, before they can reach the destination though they get stuck in a traffic jam, and two reckless drivers are making chaos around the streets, and are just generally being terrible. Girl: Excuse me a moment... She teleports out, and stands on the road where the two car-crazed morons are going ape, they glance at her and put their pedal to the metal, ready to make some roadkill. She extends her hand, and stops their car dead in its tracks, completely unfazed. She crosses her arms and glares at them, both now naturally terrified. Girl: You should know better than to act like complete maniacs, you’re holding up traffic and I have a visit to death’s door that you are NOT making quick. One pulls out a glock, points it at her, and yells FREAK before firing, in a flash, she moves her hand and catches the bullet, dropping it carelessly in front of him. Now they are REALLY SCARED. The two officers watch from the paddywagon, and look back to Breston. Lieutenant Morrison: You know her? Breston: Yeah dude, she’s my partner in crime! He says this trying his hardest not to giggle under his black bag. This trip was almost just like a theme park ride with the knowledge she was around to do as she does best. She teleports back into her seat in the back, and the traffic resumes to its normal pace. Girl: We may proceed now. The two cops look at each other in shock, before shrugging and resuming the trip. The girl has a grin to herself as she looks at the two buffoons and their cars all balancing on a streetlight out the small window. At last they arrive at the place where they give you lethal injections, the place of prosecution, an epoch of executions are enunciated here, but she had no plans of letting it come to that... although this gave her a plan. She decided to ask the two officers a question. Girl: So, this lethal injection, what exactly is in it? Lieutenant Morrison: Educated Guess, but potassium cyanide. You’ll be dead before you feel any pain. That may be true for mortals and humans, but it would have no effect on her, even if it did, she’d come back only a day later... but she’d rather not throw her mortality away on these petty trials. To be on the safe side, she casts a blessing of resistance on herself, as well as Breston. Breston: What was that? Girl: it’s best you don’t know until you do. Lieutenant Morrison: No talkin’ back there! At last they are let out of the wagon, and are presented with an incredibly oppressive facility. They are greeted by none other than Mr Percieval. Girl: The plot thickens. Good to see you in such high spirits, Headmaster. Principal Percieval: I’ll enjoy watching yours dwindle. The Girl just smiles, and moves along when asked. A crowd of the families of the multitudes of police she’d had to kill greet her with angry glares, and Breston too. Breston can’t see them, he still has a black bag over his head, the girl can’t help but feel sorry that the familied lives she’d taken away had been so senselessly slaughtered by her hand, but she did give them a choice, and they chose oblivion. They are greeted by the person who grants you your last rites, and this person offers them three choices, a farewell speech, a hot bath, or a track of music to play while facing the music- so to speak. Breston chooses a hot bath, and focusing a little, a whiff of him catches her nose and she can understand why. She however, has a plan... and it will demand a speech. While she awaits for Breston to take his assumed final bath, she ad-libs in her head a speech that will hopefully speak to the people she is wishing she hadn’t upset, whilst also doing all she can to clear Breston’s name. Before long, Breston stumbles out- his bag is gone, and he smells like roses. Not the most fitting aroma for him, but you’ll take it over the one prior. He leans to you— Breston: So... what’s our plan. Girl: Go along with everything. You won’t die. She turns to him and gives him a smiling wink, easily the most adorable thing she’d ever done. Girl: You can trust me~! Breston nods, and gets ready to face his fate. Though he is curious what she has planned, he dare not probe, it’s clear she knows what she’s doing and would rather not risk getting them in more undue trouble. She is granted her last rite, and walks up to the microphone, a room of unknowing angry glares stare holes not at her, but Breston, she can feel his knees bend inwards, he had enough trouble dealing with hers, now he’s got a crowd of people doing it. She decides to first own her part of the blame. Girl: Good... whatever it is- I haven’t been allowed to see the outside in a good deal of hours, so I’m not sure exactly the time. That’s an aside, first of all. You should know it was I who was responsible for the deaths and arson for which this poor lout has received blame. The audience fumes, but clearly they can see she is being honest, their glares redirect to her. Girl: I am sorry for what befell your loved ones. While I will notion that raiding a school by the hundreds, and shooting fatal weapons within ear shot of young children and teachers would make them terrorists more than I, they were merely following orders, to support you. A sad and tragic notion it is, that they must become what they claim to fight just so you and yours may find comfort in this world you call home. I hope that my soon-to-become death puts you at ease, and that you may rest easy knowing I will no longer be around to be a danger to the brave men and women you know and love. They clap and nod their head, accepting her apology as genuine, to be honest, she meant very little of it. But it is sad to her that they had to suffer because of some petty principal’s motives... speaking of whom, he’s looking a little uncomfortable watching her honest dainty little self speak and claim ownership of guilt. She smirks at him, he scoffs, probably thinking this will be the last time she would mock him. What a FOOL he is. Our girl volunteers to be first into the chair, as she can actually stop her heartrate and suffer no consequences thanks to the immortality to which she is born. Breston must needs be seated too, and only once has he discovered the ruse, shall she rise. Until then, they must believe her to be more dead than alive. Lieutenant Morrison: You’re a very brave girl, few criminals would be so selfless. She smiles. Girl: The Brave one is my friend here, ‘tis a bit disingenuous to say I of all am brave... Lieutenant Morrison: Alright you nutcase, into the chair. She daintily plops herself in, and gets ready to see if the resistance blessing works. It should, she really hopes it does! She watches as the syringe is emptied and closes her eyes. The girl’s heartrate ceases. Lieutenant Morrison checks for a pulse and heartbeat... nothing. Dead as a doorknob. They carry her to a metal bench and lay her there, Breston is now terrified. If the injection killed her, there’s no doubt it will work on him. He starts freaking out... before remembering that wink she gave him... she’s right, he can trust her! So he shall. He sits down on the chair much more nervously than she did. Lieutenant Morrison: Are you ready, young lad? Breston: Ready as I’ll ever be. Lieutenant Morrison nods, and the syringe is emptied into his arm, the principal walks in and grins as he sees two dead students, his long waged war finally won. Lieutenant Morrison checks him as well, but oddly, he has a pulse, and a heartbeat... he starts getting worried. Lieutenant Morrison: It appears he still has a pulse... Principal Perceival: Double it. Lieutenant Morrison is kinda disgusted at the idea, but does as ordered, the dose is doubled, but the pulse remains. Lieutenant Morrison: What the hell? He’s still got a pulse, his heartrate is normal, he’s even breathing! This was enough to kill a whole herd of elephants, there’s no way he should still be alive. At about this point, the girl wakes, and while she wouldn’t have to, she returns her bodily functions to normal. Girl: Seems you underestimated us. Lieutenant Morrison jumps a foot as what he previously thought was dead rises from her grave, a playful smile on her face. The pathologist can’t take it and exits, he doesn’t have the nuts to deal with this frankly otherworldly shit right now. Principal Perceival is fuming... until her gaze meets his. Girl: Scared? You should be. She walks calmly and slowly towards the petrified Principal, who is squealing at the guards to shoot her, their attempts are for naught, however, as she simply puts her hand up and the bullets fall like harmless packaging beans. Arcane energy swells around her like cyclonic ethereal armor. With every small step an arcane wind blows through the room and rustles light objects around. The officers stop shooting and watch in awe. They’d never seen anything like it. Girl: Tell me, do you have any family who will miss you, Principal? His eyes grow wide as her previously stern expression turns into a creepy grin. Her eyes slanted... Girl: I’m guessing that’s a no, then? Off-brand for her kind of humor. But perhaps this was instead… INTIMIDATION!? Art by Pjcr The Headmaster tries one desperate last effort... Principal Perceival: Lieutenant Morrison! Fire on her gravemate if she gets one step closer! With a swift swish of her hands, all the guns in the room fly out of the policeman’s hands and holsters into her radius, floating around her before she snaps her finger and they vaporize into smoke. Girl: You’ll leave him alone unless you wish to share the fate of your mortal weapons. The police all stand back. Perceival looks at her in horror. Girl: Are you out of scummy tricks now? Say... you seem familiar. She searches her memories for a trace of the incredibly stupid face she is scaring into oblivion, and she finally lands a mark... Girl: So... this is revenge for a problem you caused. How very typical of one so obsessed with his own image. Bankrupting your own school to take me out, but oh ho~ You didn’t stop there, you went and got a decent principal fired so you could do the same to another. Girl: You then discovered I couldn’t be stopped in the usual way, so you threatened the life of one I had begun to like... did you by chance tell them—that the multitudes of deaths were a result of your penchant for superiority and not for student safety? You knew what I was capable of, but you let more die anyway. Lieutenant Morrison: Principal, is this true? Principal Perceival: No! She lies, she’s a witch who kills for sport! I took over for Briefs because he was too soft, he didn’t see the danger she is, but I do! Girl: I’m surprised anyone believed you in the first place, let alone that they take you seriously... but lucky for you~ I don’t have any evidence. Perceival’s smug look returns for but a moment. Girl: -yet. And it’s gone… She teleports out, to inspect his office at the school. Principal Perceival: Now that she’s gone, kill this murderer! Lieutenant Morrison: Our lives ain’t worth your orders. If she comes back to find him dead, we’ll be next… besides-- seems to me like the one on trial now… is you. Principal Perceival: How dare you! I pay your salary, if you don’t do as I say I’ll have you fire- The policeman all crack their knuckles and glare at him as he is taken aback, angry. Principal Perceival: Fine! Take this money... The spoiled brat sends out a bunch of notes. Principal Perceival: And kill him! Morrison looks at the squealing pig disgustedly, he was a moral man who believed in ethics and honor. This was hardly his first time feeling sick at this skinheads unjust and corrupt views, but never before had he been ordered to kill in the name of. He throws the notes back at perceival. Principal Perceival: W-what is this? Lieutenant Morrison: We don’t take bribes around here. Furthermore, we have no real proof this so-called scoundrel is guilty, and even if we did, we have had no success killing him. He’s buying time at this stage, he wants the girl to come through more than anything, and like a miracle hinging on the final second-- she returns. Girl: You look relieved to see me… I suppose I should have teleported Breston around with me, but he’s had a disorienting enough day as is. Lieutenant Morrison: We… may have misunderstood the situation. Did you find anything? Breston: Girl you sure know how to scare the crap out of people, Ahahahahaha!! Breston is having a legit chuckle. The girl smiles at him. Girl: Well, I am a terrorist apparently... better start acting like it. Sorry to scare you like that, I knew this was one of the only ways the police would question his leadership. She turns to Lieutenant Morrison and shows him a number of documents that without any doubt incriminate the pompous principal. Lieutenant Morrison: That settles that. He shoots her a wink Lieutenant Morrison: You’re going to jail, little girl. The principals expression changes to one of relief, and then surly pompous douchebag, he folds his arms to be behind his back like a common schemer. Principal: Glad you see it my way! Now off with her! He hears a clack as his carelessly positioned wrists and handcuffed behind his back. Lieutenant Morrison: As you wish, little miss. Take her away. The Lieutenant has a chuckle to himself as the princess is taken to the pen. Screaming and writhing with all of “her” flabby might, but she has no horse in this race. Her days of corruption and scheming are over. Lieutenant Morrison: Many thanks to ya Miss Shadowqueen, I’d always been disgusted by the Perceival’s selfish motives but had not any proof to make a case against him. You’ve done the United states-- and myself-- a good service or few today. I’ll make sure people get the memo that Breston and you are innocent and that Percival was the real culprit. Girl: I’m actually not innocent, I did kill those people, but… I don’t think it’s possible for your kind to really kill me. Lieutenant Morrison: That may be true, but you’ve saved me a headache and protected at least one innocent life today, which is more than can be said for the Percival. Also… seeing what I have today, I’m inclined to agree with you. Though Perceival’s arrest will leave a vacancy in your current uh… residence? Girl: I would have no problems with Briefs returning, he would be looking for a job about now. Lieutenant Morrison: Noted. He should be installed as headmaster again by tomorrow, assuming he is willing. She nods, and teleports herself and Breston outside. Breston: Wow... you’re really somethin’. Girl: To be honest, none of this would have happened had that Principal not fabricated your confession. This is as much your victory as it is mine. Breston: Well, much as I’ve enjoyed this unexpected journey to LA, I’d rather go home sooner than later. Girl: You’re a mind reader, are you? She smiles at him before she teleports Breston home. Girl: See you at school tomorrow. Breston: Yeah, you too! He waves before closing the door, she sighs a happy sigh and teleports back to her usual spot where Aisha is awaiting her. Her back turned. Girl: You should be careful, if I teleport into you it might be one heck of a mess to clean up. Also not very fun for you, at all. Aisha giggles in a tone the girl hasn’t heard before. It’s playful but also... creepy. She turns around to reveal a grin from ear to ear, eyes wide open. Aisha: You did even better than I’d predicted. Perhaps there really is some worth to this hopeless species after all. The words crack like thunder in her soul... she is not often one to fear... but this girl is unusual... too unusual. End of Chapter 3 Intermission 3 My my~ What an adventure that was! I probably paint the police in too noble of a light, but screw it this is my story I can do as I want with it! Was fun playing with some older characters, Charlie, Miss Garcia, and what’s with Aisha?? Oh I’m sure we may discover what in another chapter, but for now it’s time for-- Reader questions! 1. How many of you saw the Principal Perceival revelation coming? If you were someone who did, give yourself a big thumbs up or pat on the back, you know what, give yourself that anyway! You deserve it! 2. Did you think for a moment that our heroine, the Shadow Queen, may have died to the lethal injection? If so, did your heart drop? It’s unlikely many did, but if you did, make yourself your favourite beverage, tea, coffee, whatever, and wipe the tears away, no one important dies in this story! 3. Did you think Aisha was a bit unusual, possibly more than she seems, she kinda gave that away a bit in the first interaction in this chapter. If you did, give yourself a cookie or something nice, actually even if you didn’t, do so anyway. You’re worth it!! 4. If you thought her protective nature in regards to the school kids and Breston was adorable, then you and me both. Enjoy this metaphorical high five I'm giving you right now! A couple clarifications, I personally don’t know or care to discover what school and state the Shadow Queen goes to. Only that she did have to go to LA because I dunno fuck all about America so blah. Originally she was intending to just kill Perceival then and there, but when she saw the police questioning what was going on she deigned that him suffering behind bars would be far more fitting, and as a bonus, kept blood off of her hands. Chapter 4: The Final Night on Earth Our girl looks at Aisha in dismay. There’s something unnatural about her... Aisha: Seems I have you perplexed. I suppose it can’t be helped. Aisha’s illusion magic fades, and she assumes the appearance of a petite casucasian with deep black hair, purple eyes not too unlike hers, a kacky purple and pink Yukata and her hair in a bun with part of it out to make a small ponytail, the silvered chopsticks holding it in place. She has what looks like a hash symbol on her left cheek. It’s clear from the sheer power this girl has that we cannot be her, but fortunately- she has a name, and that name is. ? ? ?: Xali. An Ancient Evil emerges! Art by Remi-Chan Girl: Eh? Xali: It’s my name. Perhaps the Insidious Architect you tactlessly revere has told you of the Last Imperian? Girl: ...you’re not Aisha. That much is certain. Xali: Correct, that was but a guise. Girl: Your name begins with an ‘X’, no? Xali: Ah~ Someone’s getting the picture. Girl: Do not think you will scare me with name gimmickry and eccentric quackery, it may work on these humans but I am a breed of being you do not encounter everyday. Xali: I know exactly who you are, friend of Yi. The girl giggles again, not afraid to show her creep that could make Terror Mountain look like a small kid’s ride. Xali: I am frankly disgusted at you, for one who is so deeply wrought with the energy of shadows, you are disappointingly benign. It’s a shame to see such potential wasted on worthless morals. Girl: I could say the same if I was shallow enough to presume my way of thinking was factual and not just my individual perspective. I could ask you why waste all of your energy on evildoing… but would you even know how to answer? Xali: Ah~ I do. I have dabbled in both, but nothing fulfills me so like the thrill of the kill and the excitement of endangering myself to do wicked things! It’s like being on a constant flow of adrenaline. It’s really not that complicated. Once you taste in such wicked ways, you can never again enjoy the docile life like you live. To me, becoming what I am is an inevitable evolution of all creation. To me, not embracing that sooner is the waste… I was “taught” very young. You stand a fraction of my age but still you have taken an eternity comparatively to still not grasp something i did in my first decade of life. To me, you are one who wastes time on pursuits that do not thrill you to the degree you could be thrilled. You take cheap fleeting successes that offer mild comfort and play your little role as an Embodiment’s pet. You are a disgrace. Brave enough to take risks and rise against her rules, yet too cowardly to take that ballsy nature further. It is factually and objectively… wasteful. Girl: Ah… I see I have been greeted with an infamous villain of no return speech, whom believes herself the more pure amalgam of violent pleasure-seeking in lieu of something more humble. You're failing to notice one key difference in your assertion, however… Girl: That being that I’m not a fucking psychopath. Xali: You say that after killing hundreds of people just so you can keep your cozy little table at the school… You’re the one who seems confused to me. Girl: I kill to protect the innocent, you kill to deflower them, we are not remotely similar. Even if our acts may seem similar on the surface. Xali: Well, it seems you know what you want to be, so who would I be to deny you the suffering of a lifetime when my Grand Conflagration comes about? Girl: Elaborate if you will. Xali: A century and a half from now, after Triangles cease their spell, the universe continues to foster the glitches that so swell. Xali: From the artifice of a glitched session, will arise the invincible outcome. Xali: In seconds galaxies will be swept away, it’s opposition shredded like mowed hay. Xali: And while it’s passage of time in our existence be brief, it will bring upon you all untold grief. Xali: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the Twins warnings leave us as victims to our trust. Girl: Nice poetry, but consider me skeptical... There is only one being I know of that can shred galaxies like that, and his cyclic occurence is a natural phenomenon. The Gatekeeper is summoned every origination to break apart the— Xali: He will not be utilized again. Not in the way the gods deem necessary. Mortals, immortals and Demigods alike will transpire to undo the very process of origination. As a result they will create the beast of calamity. Xali: The beast will be a version of the gatekeeper glitched beyond repair. And though its reign will be short-lived. It’s cost of existence will be unlike anything ever seen. It will bring about a calamity of unholy proportions. Girl: Why are you telling me this? Xali: To see you try to stop me, and fail. All part of my little game. Girl: Pass. I’m not interested in your childish games, Imperian. I also have no way of verifying if your claims hold any truth. Considering not even Origin can see that far into the future, I hold little hope you fare better. Xali: Your doubts will be distilled as time goes on, right now it’s better you play the skeptic. Girl: Nice of you to stop by, but you can hop along now… I have lost interest in your cute little fairytale. Xali: Incase by this point you haven’t put it together... I don’t actually care how you feel. You telling me to go away is liable to make me stay out of spite. Girl: Then I have to question who is really playing the games, here? Xali: Ahahahaha~ You’re a hard nut to crack, Shadowqueen. I am playing games with these mortals for now, seeing such an insecure species react to the brutality I can offer is really a once in a life-time opportunity. Girl: They are good practise, but you might want to get a bit more in before you try to outwit me. Girl: Secondly, for the most part mortals don’t give a flying shit. Most of them say they want to die, more of them say they’d like to watch everyone else die while they do, and any that don’t would be too skeptical or delusional to believe your dumb bullshit. You’re just wasting your time, ironically the same person who chastises me for doing the same due to her ill-conceived notions of what classifies as amusement. Xali: Ah, but when did I say death was the stakes, here? The Shadow Queen feels her chest well up with anxiety... she knew what Xali meant, and it was one of the few things that frightened her. One of the things she’d worked tirelessly to create a god damned blackhole to avoid. Erasure. Girl: So you speak of an absolute end, then. Xali: Ah, I see the fear in your eyes at last. Girl: But the Gatekeeper only kills and destroys... Xali: Did I forget to mention that due to the stagnation and over clutter of code due to continued and expanded universes, the Beast of calamity will be glitched as heck? I should know... after all. The creepy herald of apocalypse turns to face one of the statues erected of Principal Briefs, before extending her hand out in a threatening manner towards it. Xali: Shokyo The Shadow Queen’s eyes widen as the statue in a puff of unnatural blue smoke, disappears. Girl: That was an erase spellcard. How could you have such a thing? Xali: I thought you had lost interest in my cute little fairytale?. Girl: That power is reserved for the Twins... how would you imagine they might respond if they were informed of your existence and plan? Xali: It would change nothing, and because I am glitched like this, they won’t be able to erase me, not without a TRUE RESET. Xali: But that’s not here nor there. It’s time for you to go home. Girl: I don’t take orders from rotten children. Xali: Don’t you worry, I foresaw you would be stubborn. Your error is in assuming I would leave you any choice… I am not one who leaves threads untied. Xali raises her hand and against her will our dear girl is being lifted up from her feet. Girl: Release me this instant. Xali: Nah! Don’t… feel like it~ Our girl tries to break free from Xali’s enthralling grip, but to no avail. Xali: Do you see how powerless you are against me? 400 billion years and yet to me, you are an insignificant ant. An ego to be crushed, nothing more. In a brillant purple flash, the school our girl had become fond of is vaporized in a flash, she puts her hands to her mouth in shock. Xali: Just to lower your motive for returning further, All attendants of this school-no-more have been removed from the field of play. Girl: ...what do you mean “removed” from the field of play? Xali: Erased, naturally~ Girl: You… monster. You could have just killed them, that would have been sufficient to keep me away! Xali: Yes, I could have. But this reaction is a lot more enjoyable. Girl: You truly are evil. Xali: Oh yes... recognize that one fact well, witch. She teleports uncomfortably close to the Queen of Shadows and grins at her before speaking. Xali: I am very evil! I’m going to tear this ridiculous cosmos apart at the seams, and it will be the impetuous entitlement of mortals that allows me to succeed! Hahahahaha! She feels her heart stop, as if halted in time, and then burst with moral outrage, she wanted nothing more than to slap this ridiculous child silly... but she knew she couldn’t, she had no power here. She was helpless to do anything and she knew it. Xali: Now go! And if I catch you coming back here, I’ll erase you on the spot! She flings her arm skyward and sends our poor dear Shadow Queen flying into space. She lowers her arm down after being satisfied with the launch. Xali: You won’t have a home here anymore... Xali: To think you would be shocked at a mere three-hundred casualties, a mere fleck in contrast to what will become of these petulant fools. The race will be broken in and learn to accept that they mean nothing, the Frostlord will see to that. She giggles creepily again. We get back to our poor defeated Shadow Queen, being driven through space by a painless but impossible to escape purple energy field. At this point she’s stopped struggling, she knows she’ll just have to follow Xali’s instruction and return home. It sucks though, she’s never felt so suddenly heartbroken. A whole school that she’d come to enjoy now lies in tatters, a social life that she’d started to find quite endearing taken away from her by a bigger fish than she is. She knows one thing was certain, when she gets home, she’s giving her daughter one heck of a hug. Maybe it’s for the best, all this time away has had her neglect her own child. And the last time they spoke it wasn’t an entirely pleasant conversation. She was told to “Go find some REAL FRIENDS and stop JEOPARDIZING MINE!”. At the time she didn’t really understand, and just did so because she was going nuts, why is raising a kid so hard!? But now she understood. Telling her daughter who she could and couldn’t see was very selfish of her, and Fyori seemed like a nice kid, she reminds her a bit of herself before the experiment. Young and optimistic, and just trying to help. She arrived home, she could have teleported out of Xali’s spell, but there was little point other than to hasten her trip back to Spriteopia. Her people welcome her back with open arms, she bows and thanks them for the warm welcome, and asks where might Mad E. Lin be? One of them states she was out at the Vineyard looking outward at the pink sun, she thanks them for the help and goes to find her wayward spriteling. Mad E. Lin: Took your sweet time... sorry I was so mean to you. I’m sure you mean well, I just... didn’t like it, I guess. Mad is standing, back to her and mother, she is in one of her calmer more pensive moods. She reminds her mother so much of herself sometimes it’s hard for her to not feel all sentimental. Girl: Sorry I was gone so long. I realized during my sojourn that maybe neglecting you wasn’t the smartest thing to do... you are very dear to me, Mad. Mad turns around with a casual smirk on her face, almost like she knew she’d had a hard time. Mad E. Lin: Did we learn our lesson? Girl: No fair! I’m supposed to be the Mum! That’s supposed to be my line! Mad E. Lin: Not my fault it takes you four-hundred billion years to grow up... Girl: Ulp! Sorry I... I’m still getting over all of what just happened. Mad E. Lin turns back around. Mad E. Lin: And now you know how cool having real friends is. She’d be impressed if she didn’t feel so defeated. Girl: Yeah... though I guess powergaming wasn’t the smartest way to earn friendship. Mad E. Lin: Pfft, our experiences vary, then! I blasted Fyori with about fifty thousand kilojoules of death, but decided she may be of use to me before I delivered the final attack. Then over time her optimistic babbling and naive adoration got to me. Though I gather it’s not common for someone to become your friend after you try and kill them. Girl: You’d be surprised! Speaking of, I realize I’ve been kinda unfair in trapping you down here like this. It was for your protection but, maybe I need to let you make your own mistakes... Mad turns her head back, with a smug smirk to show. Mad E. Lin: Kinda like I let you do? Ow, okay that was uncool. Gosh, she sure has grown into a royal smartypants! She probably thinks she’s endearing, and honestly, she kinda is, but right now the Shadow Queen just wants a hug, not an endless tirade of passive-aggressive judgements from her own kid. Girl: If there’s any reason I should be around more, it’s to humble that smart mouth of yours. She uses her arcane powers to grab Mad off her feet. Mad struggles a little before deciding it’s not worth it and giving up. Mad E. Lin: Why you gotta do that? Can’t you just ask me to come over like a normal person? Girl: Are you telling me you’d do something I asked. Mad E. Lin: Fair... BWUH! A daring sneak hug finds itself latched around Mad’s petite frame, her short little legs flailing from the unexpected grapple. Mad E. Lin: Excuse me. What the fuck is this? Girl: It’s called a hug and we’re doing it. We are making it happen! Mad E. Lin: What the hell has come over you? Usually you’d be scolding me for not doing dishes! Mad E. Lin: And yes, I did zero of them so hah! Take that! This is uttered adorably between her squashed face as the Shadowqueen finds genuine comfort in pushing her cheek into Mad’s. Girl: You can keep fighting it or you can accept this hug but until you do I’m not letting go~ Mad: Well, beats doing dishes. Mad with her short arms and legs stops resisting and enjoys the hug. After so much callous battles of one upmanship and bitter arguments it was nice to see the softer side of her mother. It always did strike Mad as odd that her mother was so revered and called naught but queen of Shadows, ofcourse she just called her Mum, as alike Queen, that was a function. Girl: I’m sorry it took me so long. Mad: And I’m sorry I’m such a ratbag sometimes. I get it, I can be difficult. They end their adorably uneven hug. Girl: How is Fyori doing, anyway? Mad E. Lin: Eh, she’s kinda drifting from me, her and a Heldathian are in a pretty serious relationship, but she does come and visit now and then, but she’s... changed. For better or worse, I can’t say... wait, are those- tears coming out of your eyes? Girl: Eh...? Busted! Even though she doesn’t remember it happening, it seems the overload of emotion on top of the heartbreak she felt over her Earthen friends finally caused her to cry while sharing a tender moment with her youngster. Girl: Seems... so. Mad E. Lin: I’ve never seen you cry! I just figured you weren’t physically capable! What on Earth happened on... Earth. Mad E. Lin realizes her literary blunder too little too late. Her mother sits down beside her and pats her lap, as if beckoning her to sit down. Girl: You are getting a bit big for this, but just this once. Mad E. Lin: Speaking of changes... It’s kinda weird seeing this way more sensitive and huggable side of you. You were always so strict when I was growing up. Mad sits down as requested, awaiting to hear the story, and quite a story she would hear! Of course, we already have read this story, mayhap even more than once! But for Mad, it is her first time hearing, and for our dear precious Shadowqueen, it is her first time telling. Mad E. Lin: Yikes... I think given the circumstances we should keep this to ourselves. The part about Xali and her Calamity, anyway. First, it’ll keep panic to a minimum, which is something she wants, second- I uh... well believe me, there is a second reason! What’s with this secretive brat?? Art by Remi-Chan Mad’s Mother gets a glint of playfulness in her eyes. Girl: Unless you want another very long hug, I suggest you start explaining yourself little nugget~ Mad E. Lin: Okay okay! Just... try not to flip out. This is kind of a long story. End of Chapter 4 Intermission 4 So know how I said there will be a lot more wholesome content and no important characters die. Guess I FLAT OUT LIED. Or would have if Breston and Briefs were remotely important. As an aside, they didn’t die, they were erased from the fabric of reality wholly. That probably doesn’t make you feel any better, but that’s okay! It was said from the first that the school was but a small blip on her expansive timeline. To make up for it, we had some wholesome mother-daughter bonding. We also have some- Reader questions! 1. The School arc is done, it’s gone now, and Earth is but a memory of the past, it’s Mayan-prophecised doom soon to come and the humans cut down to a fifth- fleeing to make room for a new dominant species, making way for the groundwork of another story to be laid. Where do you think we shall go next? Entertain the possibilities a little while, if any of them turn out to be close or dead on, you have earned the right to feel good about that brain of yours, good job brain of yours! I am so, so proud of you! 2. Is it possible tha-ψ S̸̢͖̆͝î̷̖͎͇̱̺̔l̵̡̘̉̿̄͗͝e̴̥͐̍͂n̵̦̙̱̏̽̆c̴͈̀̈́̄͝ȩ̴̭̗̹̘̽̾͌͌͝ ̷̢͈̜̬̳̒̈́͒̾ţ̸͙̜͘͘̕h̴͎̱̓͘͠i̶̧͔͎͛͛̔̽̚ś̷̤̩̣ ̴̼̦̤͍̰͂̌̇̂g̴͈͖̺͋l̶̟̳̫̪̫̏̈̔́͝ŏ̷̧̲̰̎̈́r̴̜͉̥̙͂i̸̖̘̙͉̙͊͛̇͗f̵̨̉i̸̪̫͓̮̓͐́̑e̸̢̮̦͓̠̎̓̉͠ḓ̸̟̣͗͋̓̓ ̵̥͚̫̉̏ḅ̷̨͓̀̋̂͝à̸̟̼̘̱c̵̰̻̣͉͆ͅk̴̶̢̪̘̺̬̑̄̔͒̊̓̓͝p̸̳͔̞͒̾a̸̗̥̰̝͓̋͑̒̕t̵̡̰̻̘̂̅̏͝͝t̵̨̼̣̰͋͜i̶̮͍̤̣͖̅́̈́̇ṅ̷̨̗̲͈̝g̴̲̭̗̈́́̇͆̓͜ ̵̳̙͍͑̓͆̒͋i̴̺̓̔m̷̧͕͓̘̌m̴̯͇͇̎e̴̯̱̯͐d̸̢̑̄̊i̷̱͂̈̆̅͝a̴̯͍̭̯̚t̵̺͎͌͝e̴̢̯͈̹̔̏̌͠l̴̫̠͔͋͌͂̚y̵͈̿̆̓̍ ,̴̬͍̍̊͋̚ͅ ̸̞͕̘̘̟͆̇̒͠͠m̷͎̄͗̑͆ó̸͇͈̖ŗ̸͖͇̥̿̐͋̆͝t̷̝̽̑̏̌́ạ̶̧͓̊l̶̘̝̞̞̾̍̾̓̀ ̶̺͍̫͍̍͠p̶̪̰͂̕e̶̛̖̐̿͒͌ơ̶̢̬̭͜ͅn̸̘͌ͅ.̸̛̪̭͋ 3. What the he- T̴̨̞̥͚͆ͅh̷̛̟̍̈͛e̶̲͗̐ ̶̮̘̈́́̃̐̀v̸͈̐͒w̷̮̭̖̻̚ǒ̶̝̦͓̤̎̅͐͜ŕ̶̜̪̙̑͘l̷̳̱͐̓d̵̢̤̫̫͓̀͗ ̷̡͙̺̟͛͂̋s̴̛̘̳̫̹̆̂̐̚h̴̖͚͓͕́͗̑͘å̵̳̑l̷̗̳͔̗̒͐̆͋l̵̛ͅ ̸̘̙̻̝͚̒̈b̴̡͉̞̜͚̍̿͑͘͝e̴̢̺̲̞̼͂ ̷̨̝͇͉͖̓̔͊ẗ̷̨́̚ù̶̧̮͕̎̈́̌͝r̴͇͈͖̔̏n̷̹̓̈́͌e̴͖̮͠d̶̨̤͍͛́͗ͅ ̸̡̱͙̻̲̓ȗ̴̪͍̜̂ṕ̷̬̩̪͂̐̕͜s̷̯͈̳͘i̸͍͠d̶̪̣͓̹̜̀̒̈́e̶͚̫̞͉̻̐̓ ̴̝͓̼̼͈͛̄͠d̶̘͕̘͝ǫ̸̨̙̩̅̂̊́̓ẃ̵̨̢̞̾͐n̸̠͚͑̓̎͝,̵͍̻̟̗̋̿̎̒̅ͅ ̸͓͎̰̈́̇͒͑t̴̮̺̪͕́͛͊h̴͓̮͚͂̑e̷̳͚̭̞̲͊͆̄͌ ̷̧̧̗̠̲̆̀ṣ̵̰̺̈́̽̓ȗ̵̧͙͉n̶͉̈́̐ ̸̠͈̱̈́̿̑̕t̸̖̣̻͚̉u̶̦̘̝͈̺̓̔͘r̶̢͙͗̌͌n̸̝͚̩̥̄̇͛̕ĕ̵͎̐̅ḓ̷̝͖̘̼̀͘ ̸̡͉̜̲͔͊̀̈́t̵̠̣̲́̊̈͝͝ǫ̵̫̫́͒̿̏ ̷̧̪̠̘̄ị̷̟̽ç̴̟̖͎̐̓̽͛e̵͍̺͑͑̿̏ ̴̹̈́à̷̟̱͉̝s̸̭̙͑̈́̉̆ ̴͚̮̮̲̽̔̈́̀e̸̩̟̤̙͑n̴̦͎̼̄̃͌t̴͍̙̻̲̎͋ŕ̷͚̖ǫ̵̼̏͆̉͜͠͝p̶̡̮̭̬͉͌͝͝y̸̥͆ ̸̧͖͍̋́̇͘͝s̵͉̟̊́͐ḝ̴̪t̸̡̯͓͝s̵̫̰͇͔͚̊͂̓̒͘ ̸̜͔̦͉͌͂̋ͅt̸̩̩̄̐̎̆͝h̸̡̰̺̯̪͋͑e̵̬̯̓ͅ ̶̲̒s̶̡̙̬͎̲͐̀͌̍͝t̶͉̬̼̄̈́͝ả̴̻̳̼͙̳̑g̶̹̐̾͌ȩ̶͍̒ ̶͜͝f̶̟̭̐̀͌̽͂o̶̢͚̊̿ŕ̴̟͎̭̈̓͝ ̷̼̗̣̦̈́͜t̸̛͇̗̳̊͌͝h̷̳̔̈́̍e̸̱̅ ̶͙͙̋̓b̸̨͇͕̯͐͊͌ḛ̴̪̥̉̉̏̈́̚a̴̢̧̫̫̒s̷̝̟̓͂̇́̀ṭ̷̭̥͉̻̈̾ ̴̧͍̘̫̏̐̿̏o̷͓̔̋͆͝f̵̫̪̬̽̅̏ ̶̧̻̣̞̝͛̉̋c̴͕̥̯̏̊̌̌̀a̵̡̹̓̿͂̿͘l̴͕͓̏͐͌á̷͈͈̐̆m̴̦̜̗͋̔̕i̶̡͍̮͋͂̾̋̕ͅt̷̗͈̆̇͊͜y̴̬̅!̴̼̥̜̃̇̽ A couple clarifications, Xali isn’t just playing evil to cloak some sentimental insecurity or because she has any justification. She is PURE EVIL. One of the only characters in existence who is evil without a justification or motive. She serves only chaos and suffering, and revels in the torment of mortals, immortals, eternals, gods and even superpowers alike. Chapter 5: Unwritten Forbidden Obfuscation Mad E. Lin despises scullery… but doesn’t mind helping the work pile up. Art by Remi-Chan Mad pours herself and her mother some tea, readying themselves for the explanation Mad is about to give. Girl: Are you sure this is necessary? Mad E. Lin: It’s a long story, and we both like tea, how is this not to your liking? Girl: Fair, I do hope it doesn’t drag on too long, though. Tea keeps the soul warm. Art by Crimson Mad E. Lin: it’s the sort of story you’ll love, conceptual math, mythical impossibilities made possible and such. Girl: Well in that case, I see this was ENTIRELY necessary. Mad has a giggle to herself, this new side to her mother was easy to adjust to, much more playful and fun, unlike the strict regulator of chores and chicanery she knew prior. Mad E. Lin: Let’s begin with Fyori, as she was the one who relayed the idea to me, the idea of rebellion against Origin, so as to free the cosmos from the cycles that mean immortality is but an illusion of eternity. Girl: But… that’s suicide! The fact they could even think to do such things is… Mad is shushing her, clearly she is getting to that. Mad E. Lin: I was skeptical as well, how can one fight the alpha timeline when the Alpha timeline dictates what we do? Well, truth be told, the Alpha time is but a mold, and any who break form are removed, that is- if their treachery is discovered. Mad E. Lin grins, she knows our dear precious queen will like this next part. Mad E. Lin: Our dimension, the twelfth- was duplicated and given a number with no end. A number that by its concept and very definition is infinite. Girl: Pi. Mad E. Lin: Correct, and aptly, they have named this derelict copy of our dimension… The Equation Unsolved. Due to the dimension being off the map, one can alter the events in the Alpha without Origin’s knowledge, and so is borne a plan of six centuries, over the time small but subtle cogs have been altered, and spanners have been put in the works, there will be no Gatekeeper to bother us this time. We’ve relocated one of the “Ancient Ones”, the keys upon which being killed, unlock one of the six locks holding the Gatekeeper prisoner, if one key is absent, and left to persist- the gatekeeper shall not emerge, and the cycle will not be able to be brought about. Girl: This sounds incredibly dangerous… Mad E. Lin: So is what comes after, which is why we must keep that hushed for now. It would only eradicate the hope of those willing to oppose Gods. As for me, you needn’t worry, I have opted only to watch… I’m not stupid enough to go challenging a being who can erase and destroy on a whim. Although I may change my mind… it is a good hundred or so years before the inevitable comes to pass. Girl: You refer to the date in which origination occurs. Mad E. Lin: That… and the 314th Clash. A battle between mortals, immortals, Gods and eternals all. They seek to ensnare Origin, killing him is not only impossible, but dangerous, given how Aspects are formatted. Girl: In that, if one is destroyed, so too is the aspect associated with it. Mad E. Lin: Yeah, and Creation existing is a pretty big deal. So instead the plan is to entrap him in the same place he’ll never find. The Equation Unsolved. Mad E. Lin: The Aspect of Death and Aspect of Night have already allied with our side. Girl: It sounds as though I should join… Mad E. Lin: Actually, it’s best you do not. Blu is one of the opposition, and we also need you to stay in Yi’s good books. You’re one of the few people she seems to like, and I’d feel bad forcing you to double-cross her like that. Girl: Okay, well by all accounts it is possible that all this may succeed. I’m impressed. Mad E. Lin: By the sounds of it, Xali knows we will, I don’t know how she can be so certain of events to come, but it’s alarming how precise she’s been about everything so far. Mad E. Lin: Now undoubtedly, defeating their Master Control Program will bring about the wrath of the twins. I have no idea how that will pan out, and the Corporation seems to think this will be the end, and so do most of their supporters. I think Blu will oppose us more so because she’s in Yi’s pocket, and therefore would defend the cycle of origination to her last. Girl: Hmm… I don’t think Blu looks up to Yi much at all. Granted- the last time I spoke to Blu it was a previous version of herself- but she seems to be dead-scared and often ornery of Yi’s “games” as she puts it. I looked up to her more than Blu ever did, but again, that was a universe ago. Things may be different now. Mad E. Lin: From what I’ve gathered, Blu isn’t aware the Twins exist. Not many seem to be, they’ve been entirely absent this iteration. Or if they haven’t, no one has survived or been game to talk of it. Girl: The entire intended run of this universe will be over in the time it takes to peel an apple. They built this simulation with an incredibly high level of Acute Time Dispersion. What that means is- that a second for them is a VERY long time for us, 333 million years if I’m not mistaken. Mad’s eyes nearly pop out of her skull. Girl: I guess I should have probably kept that to myself… Mad regains her composure. Mad E. Lin: It’s just frightening to hear how very much you know about them. Girl: Being one of Yi’s few friends has its benefits. They were also just a lot more open with this kind of knowledge during my time at school, back when I was a Cloud Nymp— Mad E. Lin: WHEN YOU WERE WHAT!? Girl: Oops… I suppose I never really told you about any of that. Suffice it to say I’m responsible for… who we are as people, it’s the reason we escaped Origination, but it didn’t come without a cosmetic price. Mad E. Lin: Huh… well that’s interesting. I’m beginning to believe you never had an issue with the Cloud Nymphs. Girl: No, I was merely warned by Yi that it may not be best if I told them of… what we did. If you are trying to find out why I forbid you from seeing Fyori, it’s because she is dangerous. Girl: And I don’t mean that like she may kill you or anything malicious… but I know that look she gets in her eyes, it’s like looking into a mirror. It surprised me not at all to discover she was in-league with a Heldathian. Mad E. Lin: Hey come on, that’s my best friend you’re dissing! Mad’s hands become fists, her mother notes this aggression. Mad E. Lin: I know she’s a bit of a creepy-psycho, but that’s why I like her! She’s mischievous, and fun, and… The Shadowqueen pats her daughter on the head. Girl: So much like you~ Mad E. Lin: …yeah. I just, I liked being able to enjoy mischief with someone else. Girl: I know the feeling. But the reason she is dangerous is because she’s reckless, and much like the one I began to enjoy the company of, she may get herself in irreversible trouble, and that heartbreak will be with you forever. Mad E. Lin: I’d rather a broken heart than one that doesn’t beat… sure it’s scary, the thought of losing her to Origin or Yi, or even Xali but… Mad places her hand on her chest. Mad E. Lin: I’d rather that trepidation than asking her to be something she isn’t and be someone she’s not. I’d never forgive myself if Fyori was forced into a life she wasn’t comfortable with. Girl: You talk about how much I’ve changed, but look at you! You’ve grown up so fast! Mad E. Lin: Th-thanks… Fyori and I discovered a lot together. That’s what I wanted for you when I said that mean thing I did… Mad feels the sensation of being lifted up against her will again… Mad E. Lin: HEY! I GAVE YOU YOUR STORY, THIS WAS TO BE IF I DIDN’T! PUT ME DOOOWN YOU HORSE’S ASS! Girl: I can’t help it~ My hands seem to be doing this by their own volition! Mad E. Lin: That’s bullcrap and you know it! The Girl hugs her daughter again, she cannot believe what she was missing out on, her daughter has become so smart and clever and yes sure she’s still loud but that’s okay! Unlike last time, Mad doesn’t bother resisting this time, and just enjoys it. Mad E. Lin: I’ll let you off this time, you right hornswoggler you~ Mad’s eyes begin to feel heavy, she feels her temples cave and her sinuses well up, she can’t withhold it anymore… she sobs tears of joy, smiling as she sobs into her mother's cuddly shoulder. Mad E. Lin: I… I missed you too. Her mother closes her eyes, at last she felt accepted again. ? ? ?: Touching… The Queen of Shadows ears prick up, and eyes dart around… there are only a few who would dare to be so invasive, and she dreads it being either. Finally her eyes land on Yi Hellrider. Mad has fallen right to sleep, she’s so tuckered out she makes sleepy babies look unconventional and restless. Girl: I’d appreciate it if you would not startle me like that, Yi. Yi Hellrider: Sorry, it was just so hard not to watch such a tender moment play out. Girl: About… how long have you been peeping in on our conversation. Yi’s eyes slant. It’s clear she knows the score. Yi: Long enough… Girl: I respect you, Yi. I always have and always will. This… clash to come, I don’t really know how I feel about it… Yi extends her palm into a stop signal and closes her eyes with her head turned to the side, sympathetically as if to say “No need to worry.” Yi: Truthfully, Origin is flawed and broken anyway. This will be a trial to see if he was a worthy MCP, and if he proves faulty, the mortals can have the day. Yi: As for this “Xali” character, my best guess is she’s a cosmic enemy. One of the last remaining Empirians. A race with extraordinary intellect that alike you, found a way to persist through the cycles. The difference is, they did so only to bring destruction to more cycles than would casually be allowed. Alike Cherubim and Planar entities, they are a complete affront to the simulation me and my sister have labored to build and seed. Girl: I see. Do you think this act of hers is revenge for the destruction of her people. Yi: No. The Empirians are heartless unfeeling bastards with no conscience. They have existed with only the purpose of making existence as miserable as they can for everyone. I couldn’t be so callous and morally-bankrupt if I tried! Yi: This Beast of Calamity she spoke of… born from a glitched Gatekeeper- it is at this point a hypothetical wrecking ball, but by the sounds of it- it’s existence is a very short one. If by then we have not elected for a TRUE RESET of your Cosmos, I suppose I’ll let mortals pick up the pieces… It can be their punishment for their acts of defiance. For those who aren’t erased along the way, anyway. When that time comes, you and Akra Olna will be under my protection. You’re my good friends and I’m not about to let you get erased. Girl: Thank you, Yi. Yi: … don’t thank me yet. Your sleepy little nugget there may yet join in those incidents, so of her fate, I cannot be so certain. Yi ponders the situation… Art by Phoenix Astra The girl nods, she remembers what Mad said, and has accepted that the worst could happen. She only hopes it doesn’t. Yi: Anyway~ That’s a good century and a half away, I won’t be dignifying this ridiculous clash with a physical entry, I’ll simply watch and see if they succeed. If so- I’ll begin on constructing a third and hopefully final MCP. Should that fail, and Xali’s little prophecy come to pass, then that’s a fitting punishment for the over-entitlement of mortals. After that though, I’ll be sure to track that little leper down and cast her into the selfsame abyss that spawned her. End of Chapter 5 Intermission 5 There’s a lot to process here… hopefully it wasn’t too hard to understand! If you do find yourself completely floored I recommend playing Intelligence: 314th Clash, as it goes into the mechanics much better than I could recap in the span of a few paragraphs. Xali’s inclusion means including a lot of causal spoilers, but I suppose there’s a good likelihood Fantasia will be out before this book gets published, so not a big deal! Reader questions! 1. S̸̢͖̆͝î̷̖͎͇̱̺̔l̵̡̘̉̿̄͗͝e̴̥͐̍͂n̵̦̙̱̏̽̆c̴͈̀̈́̄͝ȩ̴̭̗̹̘̽̾͌͌͝ ̷̢͈̜̬̳̒̈́͒̾ţ̸͙̜͘͘̕h̴͎̱̓͘͠i̶̧͔͎͛͛̔̽̚ś̷̤̩̣ ̴̼̦̤͍̰͂̌̇̂g̴͈͖̺͋l̶̟̳̫̪̫̏̈̔́͝ŏ̷̧̲̰̎̈́r̴̜͉̥̙͂i̸̖̘̙͉̙͊͛̇͗f̵̨̉i̸̪̫͓̮̓͐́̑e̸̢̮̦͓̠̎̓̉͠ḓ̸̟̣͗͋̓̓ ̵̥͚̫̉̏ḅ̷̨͓̀̋̂͝à̸̟̼̘̱c̵̰̻̣͉͆ͅk̴̶̢̪̘̺̬̑̄̔͒̊̓̓͝p̸̳͔̞͒̾a̸̗̥̰̝͓̋͑̒̕t̵̡̰̻̘̂̅̏͝͝t̵̨̼̣̰͋͜i̶̮͍̤̣͖̅́̈́̇ṅ̷̨̗̲͈̝g̴̲̭̗̈́́̇͆̓͜ ̵̳̙͍͑̓͆̒͋i̴̺̓̔m̷̧͕͓̘̌m̴̯͇͇̎e̴̯̱̯͐d̸̢̑̄̊i̷̱͂̈̆̅͝a̴̯͍̭̯̚t̵̺͎͌͝e̴̢̯͈̹̔̏̌͠l̴̫̠͔͋͌͂̚y̵͈̿̆̓̍ ,̴̬͍̍̊͋̚ͅ ̸̞͕̘̘̟͆̇̒͠͠m̷͎̄͗̑͆ó̸͇͈̖ŗ̸͖͇̥̿̐͋̆͝t̷̝̽̑̏̌́ạ̶̧͓̊l̶̘̝̞̞̾̍̾̓̀ ̶̺͍̫͍̍͠p̶̪̰͂̕e̶̛̖̐̿͒͌ơ̶̢̬̭͜ͅn̸̘͌ͅ.̸̛̪̭͋ Seems Xali isn’t going to let us do that anymore… Imperians are one of the races Yi refers to when she states that the Queen of Shadows is the first in a long time to discover a way to transcend the limits of origination. Though it’s likely she also referred to Kyoshi Leonova. Xali is the only one left, Yi and Wi discovered the dangerous malicious nature of them and put a universe-wide bounty on their capture. Once captured, Yi and Wi would terminate them via erasure. The interests of Xali have nothing to do with revenge, however. As Yi plainly put it, the imperians exist solely to sow chaos, discord and malicious activity throughout the universe. Xali is the sort who can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. All she wants is to watch the universe burn. Unlike the now perished Empirians, Xali is not a mortal like them, nor an immortal who has escaped judgment. Not a God birthed by some rite of ascension, nor an eternal given life unending by someone with the power to bestow such a blessing. She is a Glitch in the very fabric of reality itself. Chapter 6: Ć̶̛͔̇̚ả̶̢̙ͅl̶̢̫̅a̷̠͎͒̔͆̂͠m̴̖̄̈́i̶̪̤̠͌̑̅̓̂t̸̗͉͊̾̒́y̵̨͒͒!̴̹̼̫̓ It was 160 years ago, that your daughter was crying happily in your arms, and that you felt accepted once more. Fate has taken you on many surprising twists and turns, and now here you are; the Queen of Shadows, preparing alongside some of the Universe’s strongest fighters for the arrival of Xali and her “pet”. A Beast of Calamity, said to tear entire galaxies to shreds in seconds. A nervous breeze rolls through the air at the final destination, the frigid plains of Arcticlash, where a clash transpired a good 70 or so years before. Mad despite her initial musings, did get involved- but she survived it, as well as Yi and her sister’s wrath after the fact. Suddenly, an unholy strike of thunder crashes down to the field opposing them, as the dust and frigid vapor clears, the silhouette of Xali is indeed there, her glowing purple eyes cut through the obscuring fog like a cars headlights. The air becomes heavy, the sky turns from its usual muddy blue to a pitch black, the only light is that radiated by the creepo and some of the Queen's companions. The dust clears and her grin can be seen, shining your path to oblivion like a crescent moon baring its fangs of malice. She giggles in that unholy manner she does, before summoning her weapon, a Scythe of pure arcane energy. She occasionally glitches out of existence and back in, it seems the prolonged cycle and integration of the other universes has amplified her power even more- She grins while sizing up the opponents, she pauses when she sees the Queen of Shadows. Xali: My my~ Tis’ quite a while I’ve seen that false crown-bearer! She ignores the callous remark, Royalty never meant much to her anyway, and her status as Queen was Yi’s idea, she really doesn’t give a shit. She knows this little brat is beyond words… by every fount of information, including the Embodiment of Terror herself, this has been confirmed to her. Xali: I see you’re prepared to fight my beast~ Or perhaps you think you can kill me? Ehehehehehe~ I’d love to see you try. She slants her eyes, it’s clear she means business, Zardari steps forward and brandishes his sword. Xali: Ah~ seems we have a volunteer! Zardari is unfazed, with his longsword that she’d seen cut steel warships in half, he unleashes an energy strike from his sword, followed by many more. Zardari makes a stand. Art by Remi-Chan He watches with focus as all the attacks go right through her, like she was but an abstraction with no mass or physicality. Xali: Huhuu~ Not bad, Annihilator… oh by the way, seems you lost track of a few~ A writhing tear in reality opens beside her, which redirect Zardari’s attacks towards him. He plants his sword firmly in the ground, creating a barrier that they rebound off of and finally dissipate. Everyone has become at least a little more nervous. Xali: Anyone else ready to try their luck? Fyori begins to march out, but Esperia grabs her arm and shakes her head. Xali: A shame! That’s the problem with being so powerful, there’s very few who will just throw their lives away to sate my love of amusement. Kudos to that strapping lad with the sword for at least making an attempt, though~ She grins as she brings her hand up to be even with her eyes. Xali: Consider this a gift for your cooperation~ She snaps her fingers, and Zardari is engulfed by a purple sheen and screams in pain before his body becomes as scattered purple particles, his being assumedly erased. Another small fry asks her the question everyone else wanted to ask. The Wizard: Was that… erasure? The Wizard. Wayward Warpmage of Galaxia. Art by Remi-Chan Xali cackles a little, like she found his assumption cute and amusing. Xali: Sooo much better. See… I don’t find erasure very thrilling, it’s over too quick, and all you can enjoy is the knowledge that someone will be possibly grieving for them. The Wizard’s eyes widen as he sees the particles home in on her. Xali: So I found a way to not only make those I play with around forever, but to add to my power, as well! The purple particles form into orb, Xali raises her hand and absorbs it through her palm. The blade of her energy scythe seems to become deadlier. The Wizard and his allies watch in terror. She’d done it, she’d discovered something even worse than eternal oblivion. Xali: What’s the matter? Are you scared? Ehehehehe~ Most of the group back up a little, the Shadowqueen however, steps forward. Xali: Ooh! Look at this badass we got over here~ Girl: You must be as stupid as I was if you think that spell can’t be undone. I’ve studied magic longer than most have lived. I hope for your sake that you can say the same. Xali: Ah, well that could be troublesome… could be, but shouldn’t be and wouldn’t be- you’ve revealed yourself a threat to my fun and games, so I’ll do away with you here and now. Xali in an instant appears directly in front of the Queen with her scythe ready to strike, in a flash, she thought it would be over, but she still… feels … whole? She opens her flinching eyes to see Yi has effortlessly diverted the attack, and is holding Xali’s scythe like it were putty in her hands. Yi: Thank you for revealing the location of this treacherous little ant. Xali: Eh!? I thought you said that you were done interfering with mortal destiny! Yi: I lied. Yi puts her hand to Xali’s abdomen and lets a nasty spell send her back on her arse, while Yi takes her scythe, before shattering it. She then restores Zardari to his prime. Zardari: Never thought the day would come that you’d be my deus ex psycho-bitch. Yi shrugs Yi: To be honest, neither did I. The Queen of Shadows is under my protection, but there was no point in leaving you like that, believe it or not- you’re worth more to me alive than as a puppet to her will Xali gets up with a scowl on her face, she conjures her scythe and regains her composure. She knows all Yi can do is stall, she can’t be erased, she is too far glitched for that to be possible. Yi: Her “beast” will not be summoned here, she’s trying to buy time while it makes its way to a destructible location, form up at Spriteopia, and there you will put an end to it. I’ll hold her here. Xali: Ehehehehe~ Seems I’ve been caught! But it doesn’t matter what you try, the beast will have its due, intervention or no. Yi waits until all but the Queen of Shadows has departed. Yi: I’m aware of that. You seem to think of me as someone who gives a shit about the loss of a few systems. My only remaining goal is to rid the cosmos of the last of its scourge, that refers now solely to you. Xali: Ah, you haven’t changed, much~ You tried so hard to stop this, to ensure the perfect future came to be. But all in vain. Much like everything you will attempt. You are alone in your might, trapped into mediocrity. A Goddess… of nothing. The breeze blows as Yi’s unimpressed eyes slant. She pulls one of her bangs of hair aside so it quits pestering her face. Yi: … yep. I think you made her mad… Art by Remi-Chan In a flash Yi assumes her ark stance, and surprises Xali with her incredible speed. Xali may be beyond erasure, and she may be quick enough to dodge Zardari’s attacks like a breeze, but Yi’s speed was completely out of control. Shadow Queen tries to glean what is happening, but all she sees are blurs, they move so fast, it’s producing the same level of vibration as a plane does when entering Mach III. The next time they are still, Yi has Xali’s face scrunched in her bony hand, slammed against a cliff-face so hard the clouds above have seperated around the location of impact. Yi: Is this it, Empirian? I’ve fought teenagers with more strength than this! Yi peels Xali from the cliff face which crumbles to the ground as a result. Xali is then smashed brutally into the ground below, while Yi pins her limbs down with her foot, her other arm and her tail- leaving just one leg alone- which struggles to do something, but fails. Yi looms over the evil empirian in a way that is both terrifying and primal. Yi: You thought you could beat terror at her own game? You absolute idiot. You may be glitched to the point of being indestructible and beyond erasure, but this just means you’ll be the first uncouth little shit to have earned my full blown horrific wrath. Terror is not beyond you, and I will take great pleasure in showing you that firsthand. Yi’s eye glares into Xali’s, and Xali begins squirming, clearly not as comfortable as she was minutes ago. Yi then starts physically abusing her, shoving her foot adorned with nasty sharp nails into Xali’s abdomen, her sharply-nailed hand into her throat, whatever gruesome things she could think of as Xali tries in frightened futility to fight back. The floor is now covered in Xali’s unusual purple blood. Yi: You look quite discomforted? Get used to it! Yi turns her gaze to the Shadow Queen, who is watching the savage show go down with a look of uneasy awe. Yi: You should go, they’ll need your help. As it turns out, I’ve got things well in hand here. The Queen of Shadows nods, and teleports to her destination, once making sure she’d gone, Yi turns back to her victim. Yi: Good, no one’s here to see. The brutality I’m about to commit on your body is something only my set of eyes is fit to behold. Our heroine arrives to see the tatters of the Magenta system, the beast is here… or has been, finally she hears a familiar voice call out. Mad E. Lin: Mum, over here! She rushes to her daughter who is unharmed, the rest of the resistance are here, as well. Shadow Queen: Did I miss anything? Fyori: Nope! You’re right on time. Fyori. The Daughter of Blu. Art by Remi-Chan Fyori tilts her head to face an encroaching black and purple pulsating… thing. It made sense why Xali referred to it as simply “The Beast of Calamity”, it was an ever=ugly unidentifiable and ambiguous object. Like all of the worlds largest tidal waves also functioning as pistons for a large engine, whilst from its unusual form, limbs of large, small and huge varieties writhed like some horrific monstrosity. Overlaying all of that was a sort of black fleshy shell or chassis, the front of which had fifteen beady circular eyes glowing with the same eerie purple light Xali’s did, illuminating its journey through space and supplying it with an intimidating herald, visible from millions of kilometers away. Unsurprisingly, this unnerves the Queen of Shadows, in all her years she had never seen anything so utterly terrifying and repulsive, at least while Yi could be scary, she did have her windswept charms and looked somewhat like a humanoid of some variety. Esperia: We called it “Outcome”. Esperia. The Demoness Hell Fears. Art by Remi-Chan The Wizard: Easier than saying beast of calamity, also it kinda fits into why it’s here. ‘Twas our entitlement to our surreal cosmic progeny that allowed this beast to come into being. It is the outcome of our efforts… or some horseshit like that. Fyori: It’s within range… should we begin? The Beast of Calamity looms in the distance. Art by Remi-Chan and Apoc The Wizard: Better now than later, go nuts. Esperia, Fyori, Mad E. Lin, the Queen of Shadows, the Wizard, Zardari and many more charge their most lethal attacks, and send it outcomeward. Fyori: I think it’s working! Esperia: LESS TALKING MORE CASTING! DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT! I DO NOT WANT A CHANCE FOR THIS UGLY FUCKING THING TO RECOUP. The Outcome shrieks, like a spider splashed with boiling water. It reels and writhes but eventually collapses into itself, and in its last breath, explodes… Fyori quickly deploys a pink sun barrier, but it begins cracking under the fearsome onslaught of released energy. The Queen of Shadows pulls a powergaming move like no other, and relocates them to Planet Shale of the Sunless Galaxy. As they gain some knowledge that they’re still alive, they all watch in terror as they see over half of the universe go black. But… at least they could go on. They hear a most unsettling giggle. Turning around, they see Xali… smugly grinning, quite beaten and bruised, several large wounds where Yi had been… doing what Yi does. The Shadow Queen glares at her angrily. She is sick of this calamitous little girl’s shit. Art by Remi-Chan Xali: Many thanks! Not only have you spared me further abuse by that wretch of a supreme leader, you’ve also done precisely as I hoped! By destroying the one you called Outcome, you have brought about the exact Calamity you intended to dampen. This is truly… the best outcome I could have hoped for! Ahahahaha! The Shadow Queen has had enough of this evil little leper's bullshit, she has saved a most potent weapon for those who cannot be erased. Just in case one day she found someone worthy of it’s wrath. Today, that someone has been found. The Queen of Shadows: I tire of your ridiculous giggling. You may be above erasure, but so was Origin, and where is he now? Yi arrives on the scene, quickly putting together what our heroine was up to, she speeds in to grab Xali and hold her down like before. Yi: Seems those illegal devices may have not been entirely bad, after all. She grins at Xali… Yi: It’s a surefire way to make you even more lonely than you dared to dream. The Embodiment of Terror directs her gaze back to our Queen. Yi: Don’t use the Equation Unsolved, there is another… 10 divided by 3. The Shadow Queen: Infinite threes. Yi: indeed, it was a test universe to replicate how those halfbreeds made the Equation Unsolved. I’d not dare let poor Niirgo have to deal with this insect. Not to mention if she finds a way to erase him all of this may have been pointless. This Dimension Unfostered has no life, no matter, it is a blank slate. Yi turns her now evil gaze back down to her prisoner Yi: And this little shit will be its only resident. Xali for the first time shows real panic. Yi’s previously casual grin peels up to a look of grinning nightmare as Xali’s eyes widen. The Queen of Shadows: It’s done, the PORT4L is ready. With all her ridiculous might, Yi pegs Xali through the PORT4L and signals our heroine turn it off, as a safety precaution, Yi erases it, to prevent the final Empirian from ever returning. Yi: The good news is, we’ve gotten both of the trouble makers out of the way, the not-so-good news is that what she and her outcome erased, cannot be restored. It was erased, meaning there is nothing I can do. Yi’s face is a mix of mournful, curious and sympathetic. Art by Remi-Chan Yi: All that life, all those planets, it’s all gone. While we have thwarted the heralds of the calamity, you have also brought about the calamity you tried to forestall. I don’t know if anything I can say would make any of you feel better. As you’re aware, empathy isn’t exactly my strong suit. Yi: Rebuild, try to make something of what’s left. It is no longer my responsibility to aid in such affairs. I have enough going on in my own reality. Without another word, she warps out. Possibly for good. The Queen of Shadows looks back to where the outcome exploded. A universal bomb, all a part of Xali’s plan… What Xali didn’t account for was her ingenuity, however. With no home to return to, she and her complacency pick themselves up, and indulge in Mira, the Supreme Lady of Shale’s invitation to stay and celebrate. Mira is typically a malicious sort, but she has a soft spot for the ones she fought with against Yi. Over the next few weeks their energy returns, they put it all into their universes decapitation, and they feel really bad about that. While the outcome they had bought was an artifice convalesced by a skilled schemer, the blood on their hands weighed on them all heavily. Before long, several of the previously retired Demigods came to the scene, including the Goddess Sacreblu herself. Sacreblu: What in damnation happened? Blu has been through a lot since we last saw her… Art by Remi-Chan Bubbles: Over half the universe is gone, not killed or destroyed, flat out gone. Esperia explains in the stead of the others the outcome and what had happened with Xali. Yasondre: What a wicked, wicked creature! I’ll sleep easy knowing she won’t be bothering us anymore. Funny to hear how much Yi helped after all her hot air. Yasondre has a little giggle to herself. Probably to cope, as the Fable Druid- and Aspect of Life, the heavy losses saddened her deeply. Yasondre: The Fable Druid. Art by Pjcr Seradath: What I don’t get is why only her, her daughter and Yi knew before hand of Xali’s plan… there’s a lot of questions that raises. Seradath: The Night Bringer. Art by Remi-Chan Bubbles: Such as did Yi know that we would go on and yet still tried to stop us? Bubbles: The Grim Reaper. Art by Remi-Chan The Shadow Queen: Initially, it was to be your punishment if Xali turned out to be correct. I felt it was a bit cruel, myself. But I do get why Yi thought of it that way. I couldn’t bring myself to tell any of you while you tried in your mightiest to fight against her, you had hope, and I feared telling you may quash it entirely. The Shadow Queen: Yi may seem malicious, but in reality she is a failsafe, a Universal Guardian, and our best protection from the threat of the Empirians and other such vile nuisances. I think originally if things went as they did, that she would let us figure out that this is why she tried to stop us extending the cycle beyond its usual length. But it seems she’s had a change of heart at some point. As she seemed more saddened than ready to indulge in holier than thou speeches. Safael: Well, the worlds may be lost, but we can get back to work for a bit to recreate them. Safael: The World Shaper. Art by Remi-Chan Yasondre: As well as the people, but it will take time. Sacreblu: They will all need to be birthed anew. Our Universe will be a most fragile one for quite a time. But we will do all that we can to renew what has been lost. It may be the age of mortals, but expecting you to rebuild entire planets and species is a bit much. We’ll make an exception here, if that’s okay with all of you. They nod in unison, the Shadow Queen approaches Sacreblu, and hugs her. Sacreblu is taken a bit aback, but accepts the hug, she does love hugs, after all! The Shadow Queen: I know we’ve barely spoken, Blu. But I’ve always looked up to you. The previous iteration of you and this one as well. I’m so glad you’ve managed to persist. You seem so happy. Sacreblu pats her back and pulls her off by pushing her away gently with her hands on her shoulders. Sacreblu: I do seem to recall you… Cupcake- I think we nicknamed you? If so, my gosh you really have grown. Though I suppose I shouldn’t expect any different after 314 billion years and your resolute determination to learn and grow. The Shadow Queen: Wait… you… you do remember? Sacreblu: Not well, but there are fragmented glimpses into those past iterations which were memorable, and the final moments of the iteration where you showed me you were naught but a child hoping to impress me, let me tell you- I’d be shocked if I ever could forget. Sacreblu: Also… as a heads up, the fact you can think at all is evidence I’ve not gone anywhere. If I were done away with, Intelligence, thought and flow would cease, remember? The Queen of Shadows smiles, before her gaze turns back to not being gazing at anything. The Shadow Queen: With our universe vulnerable as it is, I feel as though we should each do our part. Sacreblu: Agreed, you are all excellent fighters, but it would be most vital we have more. It’s impossible to say if Xali was truly the only Empirian left, and other threats may arise as well. You shall train those willing in your various fighting styles. If these recent events are any idication, it seems Yi was right, in that we will face many battles in the future, some which may be capable of bringing about entire calamities. It would be in our best interests to be prepared. Sacreblu: The Goddess. Art by Remi-Chan Mad E. Lin tugs on her mother's dress, one of her various ways of grabbing her attention. Her mother turns around to see what is going on, and kneels down to talk to her daughter. The Queen of Shadows: What is it, little nugget? Mad E. Lin: I’m wondering… did our home not survive origination? Who is to say it didn’t survive… that. Whatever it was. The Queen of Shadows: Well, it won’t hurt to check. Thank you everyone, there’s a possibility I won’t return. Without another word, the two teleport out, they find their home intact, the usual greetings offered. Far as she is concerned, the Queen of Shadow’s days of adventure and heroism are behind her. She’ll watch and advise Mad as she matures, before long as did happen once before, the surrounding solar system begins to form around her home, just as it had those three-hundred and fourteen billion and seventy-seven years ago. She has worn no name since that time, and she will ensure it stays that way. Art by Yukimkun The End Final Intermission I figured it would be best to answer the undeniable hype I built up surrounding Xali. I imagined the fight with her and the beast of Calamity would go on for longer, but I sort of suck at drawing stuff out. Especially when there’s only really one sure-fire way to deal with a certain opponent best. Blu’s fight against Yi’s game was psychological, and therefore could be lent a lot more depth and precision, while also having a progressive arc that takes place over many years. Every second of time that isn’t spent trying to excise Outcome is a second he can disintegrate more celestial bodies into nothing. Xali is also very cunning, Yi didn’t fuck around and went straight into savage mode with her, and had a significant power advantage. Yi is also the sort who lives to get her hands dirty, so it goes without saying that after the last set of eyes left, Yi did some pretty nasty shit to the last Empirian. Final Notes Xali is likely to one day return. Even had she been successfully contained in the place she was thought banished, she would still break free eventually.
  6. Remi-Chan

    [Rated T for Tolerant] Perseverance Full Clearance

    Post reserved for future use.
  7. Remi-Chan

    [Rated T for Tolerant] Perseverance Full Clearance

    Post reserved for future use.
  8. This game may not be for everyone, please read the Crazy Chimp Collective Tolerance Advisory for more information! His red face melded, on poster of want... This Rapscallion may relinquish the Naxonite haunt. With red coat unique and devil eyes beneath, Only he may wield the Perseverance to quell their teeth. but shall he fall, to Naxon's folk-- our great nation, be doomed to choke. Set in the Dystopian future of Britain, after the Humans had evacuated Earth and critters had taken over. Perseverance takes place in a familiar setting with a haunted coat of paint! While the Tyrannical cult of Naxon spreads its vile tendrils, the only force that can oppose it- The Perseverance Union, stands openly in defiance! Can you help them secure their country and its future? Perseverance is an action-packed shooter that takes inspiration from Ratchet and Clank, Oddworld, V for Vendetta, LackadaisyCats and some others. The game features a lot of gunplay, but also has some more melee weapons for those who like a little hack and slash. The game also heavily features puzzles, minimalist platforming and other toys, but the most notable feature of all the mechanisms is the 20+ boss encounters. Perseverance could be considered an untitled prequel to Intelligence, seeing as it focuses largely on Pep's backstory. The game has cats with guns and also demon girls and eldritch pig monsters what else could you even want? I mean outside of entirely awesome graphics, a 60 song OST and 6+ hours of gameplay, which we have all of by the way! Perseverance also has a deep compelling story and a very atmospheric world to learn about for those who have more control over their urges. A lot of items can be interacted with for various tidbits of info, comedy or other stuff. The Game's strong suit is its gameplay and storytelling-- but it also has very charming huggable characters... with guns! For Windows: For Macintosh: -Intense Action Packed Gameplay -10 Radical Weapons -6 Interesting Power Ups to Collect and use. -10 Fully fledged cinematic FMVs! -A fully built out world oozing with charm and also ooze of a slightly more sinister nature! -Several charming well developed characters! MORE!!!
  9. Gonna cast revive on this again. If it manages to die again this time, I'll make a new one in my authority and allow the old one to be locked. I honestly feel bad there is just... no feedback i can give, because I'm the only one who has posted content for ages. Welp, here's hoping that changes, for now; here's some recent developments. High Court of the Yamayoji In this scene, you make a bad choice which ends in an overly-glorified game over. The Yamayoji is not an opponent you can beat. For ease of understanding and those with dyslexia, I've added voice acting to help with the delivery. It is not in game. Oh, but there is so, much... more! Murder on Xoraq Esperia is one of my more well known characters, similar to Pep. She started out in PFC as a villain, then kinda changed throughout that whole experience. While she still has villain-adjacent behavior, she's more concerned with keeping the people she cherishes around. Eternal Storm of Entitlement An interesting lore event which reveals how Xaela persists and possibly always will in some form. Also tells us how life begins and evolves / devolves. What a Wind-God Girl Craves Lastly, we have this boss fight with the Wind-God Girl Zephyrra.
  10. Remi-Chan

    Remi-chan's Cinematic Showcase!

    Had some late night inspiration strike while listening to Mars: Bringer of War by Gustav Holst. Xali: Bringer of War Took a lot of shortcuts, but all in all I'm really happy with how this turned out.
  11. Remi-Chan

    ya-hallo~! I have come bearing art!

    Me calling myself out #1 Me calling myself out #2 Alternative portraits by Pjcr.
  12. Remi-Chan

    Remipolitan Cosmos Symphonic Suite

    My composer Jake Gamelin, who recently went his own way to fulfill his life's dreams, had been the composer for virtually all of my games with a custom soundtrack. I felt it might be good to honor his immense contributions to the CCC and bringing my cosmos to life, so I will link the youtube playlists which have all of his music listed. Starting with the more humble 48 track score for Menagerie: Remastered, to his more ambitious Fantasia score with 110 tracks on top of 6 music effects. Here's all four of the impressive scores he made that helped bring my games to their prime. Menagerie: Remastered Album Art by Eric J. Fielder Perseverance Full Clearance Album Art by Aku Intelligence: The 314th Clash Album Art by Xiie Fantasia: Surreal Cosmic Progeny Album art by Pjcr and Xiie
  13. Burn out is hitting me like a freight train, that and the ferocious Aussie summer heat.

    So I've been taking it easy until the sun chills which by the looks, will be next week.

    1. Rikifive

      Rikifive

      Relatable.. except for the heat, I do be having a cold-but-actually-not-so-much-this-year winter over here and my electricity bills went further than NASA ever did.

  14. Remi-Chan

    The Photo Booth- show your face people!

    Danke Schion~ Also sorry about the mess I made a few days back. So not cool of me! Funny side note: my suspension ended on the 1st of February, also known as my birthday. I didn't come here until just now due to, well, me doing birthday stuff. Like making icing and then icing / decorating this cake. Which I'm going to share here because where else? I then took this cake and myself to the art workshop i go too and shared it with my friends, because eating an entire cake alone is unhealthy and a little sad. Especially when the icing is... well: EXTRA THICC! Speaking of cosplays, did ya'll ever see me as Reimu Hakurei from touhou? Maiden's Capriccio ~ Dream Battle Cause I'm really proud of this one!
  15. Remi-Chan

    Hello everyone.

    Wait, you're still here...? I MEAN YEAH AND UH... AND KILLOZAPIT ERR KAYZEE, TOTALLY! SKSK I always get you two mixed up. :0
  16. Busy reporting an insignificant Ruby "bug" that nobody would ever trigger if they do learn how to program in Ruby correctly...
    Yet, it's some real bug-like stuff, guys!

    1. Kayzee

      Kayzee

      what's the bug?

  17. kyonides

    Understanding RGSS

    The Other Bad Practices Found in RGSS Scripts We all should know by now how to declare an if or unless conditional statement. Happy with a sweat Yet, there are people out there that do weird stuff while doing so. In some cases the culprit was the RMXP's default code. For those guys that entered the scene after RMVX or RMVX Ace came out, I have no excuse. Confused if variable == true print "It's true!" end if variable == false print "It isn't true..." end This is one of the most extreme cases seen so far. For some reason, the guy checks the same variable twice, once for a truthy value and another for its opposite value. It is terrible! Angry Just like in many other languages, there are other ways to check the same value appropiately, without repeating oneself. if variable == true print "It's true!" elsif variable == false print "It isn't true..." end There we can see how to define a second condition using elsif instead. It certainly means "else if" there. If we were checking for totally different values, that solution would be fine. Even so, we are only checking what is its actual boolean value and under such circumstance, there is an easier way to deal with it. if variable == true print "It's true!" else print "It isn't true..." end Yes guys! That is all you needed to do from the very beginning! Laughing Shocked But wait! There is more you need to learn here about those statements! if is_variable print "It's true!" else print "It isn't true..." end Grinning It is quite interesting how the code still works, don't you think? Thinking But why does it work here? Who Knows? There is an easy explanation. In Ruby, unlike C or C++, all objects return a truthy value if they are not equal to nil of the NilClass or false for obvious reasons. In C it would be quite common to see something like the following code: if (result) { return "You were successful!"; } else { return "You failed!"; } The negative way to declare that kind of statement would be: if (!state) { return "LoadError: Failed to load script."; } A ! bang, yes, a ! bang there means negative value or opposite value or simply false. And guess what? That does exist in Ruby as well! if !is_done print "In the works!" else print "Done!" end Of course, newcomers might need to include the equality operator and the true value like this == true but in the professional world that is not used at all. The only reason why you would ever, if ever, use it would be to test if an object is equal to true or false or nil in a threefold check. And this is extremely uncommon, guys! Happy with a sweat Toggling Switches So how can we apply that knowledge to changing the boolean value of a Game Switch? Thinking Just use the following code: $game_switches[1] = !$game_switches[1] A Curious But Nonsensical Idea Some time ago somebody wrote me a message telling me how dangerous it would be to do the following while using modules and classes. module Some ONEISTHERE = "Someone is there!" class Thing include Some end end OK, I got to say that it is idiotic per se, still, this person wanted me to warn you about it. The reasoning behind it was that it would create a terrible loop that should be avoided at all costs. Interesting conclusion. Thinking [Mad Scientist Mode ON] Let us test this theory, guys! Nope, as we can see in the picture above, that is CERTAINLY NOT the case there! What has happened was that we simply created a "new link" to the Constants already declared in the module above. The only thing we have achieved was to come up with a redundant way to get to the same old Constant. XD It was totally unnecessary for sure. =_=¡ [Mad Scientist Mode OFF]
  18. Last week
  19. Kayzee

    Hello everyone.

    What about me? Anyway, welcome!
  20. Disclaimer: While exceptions and negative emotions are essentially similar, they're still not 100% the same, so there will be minor discrepancies here and there when this article tries to apply wisdom on handling exceptions into handling negative emotions, but I still hope that this article can make its points across to as many of you as I can As programmers, we probably at least have a basic knowledge on what exceptions do in general, so it's unlikely that I've to explain much about that here. However, did we think about applying some wisdom from exceptions in real lives? Since I've had some thought about that, I'm going to share about them in this article, but the gist is this - Exceptions in software are a lot like negative emotions in human, so negative emotions should be addressed responsibly, just like exceptions being supposed to be handled properly. The following 3 approaches show the similarities among exceptions and negative emotions: Letting Exceptions Crash The Software - Letting Negative Emotions Take Over Control Let's use an unrealistically silly example about exceptions first. Let's say that a program has to send some GET requests to get data from some remote servers, and it's totally normal for the requests to fail, possibly because of unstable network connections, overloaded servers, or some other similar reasons, so it's just the norm to throw exceptions in such cases. However, an unbelievably sloppy programmer may just let the exceptions abruptly crash the whole program badly without even telling the users what's going on, when he/she could've just tell them why those requests failed and ask whether they'd like to retry or abort those requests. Needless to say, if a so-called experienced professional frequently handle exceptions in such immature ways without even thinking about them, he/she probably won't last long in the software engineering industries, because he/she'd likely just create disasters after disasters otherwise. Of course, there are really cases where there's indeed nothing for a software engineer to do when some methods throw some nasty exceptions, like StackOverflowException in C#, even though such exceptions shouldn't be that easy to leak out to production to begin with. But the point remains that, letting an exception crash the entire system should at least be a careful and conscious decision(and preferably as the last resort only), rather than out of laziness nor misconceptions. Now let's go on to another childish example, but this time about negative emotions. Let's say a rookie investor just watched an online video about a seemingly legitimate(while actually unqualified) stock market expert "explaining"(when it's actually nothing but nonsense) about how certain stocks will skyrocket to record highs after several days, and that rookie investor trusted this kind of insanity by investing more than 80% of his/her total wealth into that stock. Unfortunately, after several days, those stocks dropped to such lows that the underlying companies may as well be considered bankrupt, so that rookie investor feel extremely angry and unjust about his/her tragic loss, and leave many insulting and vulgar comments on that video, without even thinking about how that fraud really caused him/her to lose so much money in such a short time. What's worse, even that isn't enough for that rookie investor to vent all his/her anger, so he/she feels exceptionally furious whenever he/she perceives anything he/she doesn't like in his/her family, and disproportionally blames his/her sons and daughters for even trivial mistakes that he/she wouldn't normally even notice nor care. Needless to say, if he/she continues to behave this way without thinking about his/her part of the responsibility of this mess(just automatically listening to any apparent authority without critical thinking), his/her family, as well as him/herself, will just suffer deeper and deeper, while he/she'll increasing feel that it's all the others' fault for his/her disarray in his/her life. Of course, there will be times where some adversities will cause even some of the most self-aware and serene people to be completely outraged, like when a guy realizes that his girlfriend had been concealing the fact that she's pregnant for weeks because of another guy, even though there are actually people who can behave friendly(but not being weak) towards their girlfriends and even those guys responsible for such pregnant, all without repressing any negative emotions(like by nonjudgmental and nonviolent expressions of the feelings of hurt and sadness). But the point remains that, letting negative emotions to take over control should be rare and the last resort only(even though it's okay to fail on this sometimes as long as the damages from uncontrolled emotional outbursts are at least partially compensated), rather than out of complete lack of self-awareness nor emotional intelligence. Silently Swallowing Exceptions - Repressing Negative Emotions Those used to handling exceptions should know that exception swallowing is generally a very bad practice and should only be used when there are very solid reasons behind it, otherwise the original exceptions that could be properly handled can easily become something much worse much later - severe errors that seem to come out of thin air, so it'd be very hard to find the root causes behind all this, let alone fixing it. For instance, I still vaguely remember that, when I had a full-time programming job, I've taken over a codebase from someone else, and soon realized that that codebase will occasionally be out of memory without obvious causes. While it's reasonable to suspect that there are memory leaks unknown to me(and it's extremely hard to eradicate every possible memory leak anyway), I'd to spend quite some time to find out that, some of those memory leaks come from silently swallowing(an empty catch that's not even logging anything) a certain exception when using an API of a library as a dependency of that codebase(I unconfidently recall something like only closing connections/streams in the try block but the exception's thrown before reaching that line of code). If that exception were properly handled, I might have noticed those suspected improper use of resources much earlier, thus saving me tons of time when debugging the application. In a very similar sense, those used to exercise self-awareness practices should know that repressing negative emotions(even though strictly speaking there's no such thing as "negative" emotions as every emotion reflects unique messages about one's dominant internal states) is generally a very bad practice and should only be used when there are very solid reasons behind it(like under prolonged critical emergencies constantly requiring difficult yet immediate actions with no room of errors), otherwise the originally manageable negative emotions can easily become something much worse after several years or at most decades - total mental breakdown triggered by seemingly trivial setbacks as the last straw, and sometimes even seasoned professional therapists may fail to understand the accumulated suffering of such patients, regardless of years of attempted consultations and treatments. For instance, while I don't claim to remember every last details, someone I know very well had almost committed suicide more than a decade ago, with the last straw being having no hope to finish his bachelor degree in university(and he really didn't finish it at the end). While I don't think I've thoroughly comprehended the essence behind his depressions at that time(fortunately nowadays he's at most lightly depressed once in a while for a short time), I do know that he almost never asked for help unless absolutely necessary, and he nearly always refused to talk about his hardship to anyone else(now he'll at least try to talk a little bit about that when someone else ask him about that directly). With the fact that he rarely expressed even his positive emotions to the others at that time(but now he can genuinely smile easily), it's reasonable to think that his self-awareness and emotional intelligence were both very low at that time, so repressing negative emotions in front of the others and even himself was all he could do back then. If he didn't try to escape from external challenges as well as not ignoring his internal unhappiness, I don't think he'd have tried to prepare to commit suicide(although I'd still doubt if he could've finished his bachelor degree even with external helps), even though it's lucky that he never did it, and it was all that mattered. Properly Handling Exceptions Thoughtfully - Observing Negative Emotions Nonjudgmentally In short, exceptions that can be handled should be properly handled with thought, because different kinds of exceptions need different kinds of care, and sometimes even the same kind of exceptions can have totally different meanings under different contexts, so it's usually better to think about how to handle a specific exception under a specific context with a case-by-case basis, even though it doesn't mean there's no need to establish exception handling facilities and policies for each software. Mixing Different Exceptions - Lacking Emotional Granularity If you're a Java developer, it'd be a fortune for you to have not worked with a high-level try-catch block that has just a single catch catching Throwable for no reason(ideally such codes should never exist to begin with), without caring whether it's an IOException(which can still be too broad sometimes), NullPointerException(which might be effectively meaningless under some contexts), OutOfMemoryError, StackOverflowError, or some other kinds of errors and exceptions. Because, strictly speaking, it's also a kind of exception swallowing, not by negating the existence of exceptions altogether, but by erasing their specific details necessary to handle them properly. Obviously, it helps avoiding to face the problems head-on, but it won't solve them either, and in fact, it often makes them much worse, sometimes even to the point of being impossible to fix within feasible costs anymore. Similarly, if you only know that you feel bad when you're facing negative emotions, without knowing what kind of the bad feeling it's(like anger, anxiety, guilt, sadness or shame), you can end up with swallowing the details of your unmet internal needs by covering them using the generic word "bad" and nothing more(although it's still better than negating negative emotions altogether), thus pretending to be working hard on improving mindfulness while giving you excuses to evade all those limiting beliefs and psychological pains that have to be faced, in order to have meaningful spiritual advancement and mental growth required to function effectively and efficiently as a healthy being. While increasing emotional granularity demands some courage and knowledge, it's the only way to stop those stagnant negative emotions from eventually evolving into nastier and nastier mental disorders, even though one won't descend into such hell that easily nor quickly in normal cases. Analyzing Exception Stack Trace - Identifying Negative Emotion Roots When investigating the root causes of an exception, it's often helpful to study its stack trace, at least until to the level where some meaningful fix can be done, instead of just covering its symptoms. Of course, sometimes, including rare instances where I've experienced personally, covering the symptoms reflected by an exception is indeed better than trying to fix its root causes, and this can be due to varying special reasons, like the prohibiting cost and technical barrier needed to fix it, with the reasonably assumed lack of serious consequences of just covering its symptoms, or maybe the exception is due to some native bugs of the frameworks or platform used, when it'd be infeasible to find replacement just because of those relatively minor annoyances. The key of this, again, is to really know what you're truly doing, rather than just mechanically sweeping ugly messes under the carpet without long-term thinking, and being at least this responsible and thoughtful will be one of the advantages helping us go a long way as seasoned professional software engineers. Similarly, after giving ourselves some time to just feel those negative emotions without criticism, it's often helpful to ask what triggers those negative emotions, and I might have to use an example to illustrate this. Let's say you and colleagues A and B have the same position in the same company, while they've higher salaries than yours. While you dislike A a lot because of that, you respect B despite of that however. After some brief self-observation, you realize that you dislike A more and more whenever he/she creates even more mess(and you've to clean it up) without contributing much to anybody or anything(and the higher-ups never punished A for anything ever), and you respect B more and more whenever he/she performs even better than he/she already did without making troubles to anyone else, so having the same position with different salaries isn't the full story of your disdain towards A but not B. Instead, it makes sense to have a hypothesis that(which needs to be further verified), you've an implicit golden rule that the rewards received by someone should be proportional to the values that someone brought to the others, and your hatred towards A stems from him/her violating your golden rule without any negative consequences, thus threatening some parts of your subjective value systems that are imbued deep within your brain and heart. With this new insight about yourself, you can choose to either accept that it's okay for your golden rule to slightly fail sometimes, or continue to be angry with A but with the crystal clear awareness of him/her violating your golden rule without having to pay for it, or try to reveal your past pains causing your adoption of this golden rule by digging even deeper about where it came from(which is insanely hard without professional supports), but what's the most important is that, no matter what you choose, it'd be better to admit that it's your conscious choice, and be responsible for it, as well as every consequences on your part. Do note that, in practice, exception stack traces are handled by our minds, meaning that it's a thinking and objective process, while negative emotion roots are handled by our hearts, meaning that it's a feeling and subjective process, so just blindly applying the methodologies of handling exception stack traces into handling negative emotion roots will only make things even worse, and emphasizing the similarities between exception stack traces and negative emotion roots is to use another way to reveal some parts of the essence behind negative emotions, especially for us programmers and former programmers Throwing So Many Exceptions - Being Triggered So Easily While it's totally fine for a method to throw a couple of exceptions, if a method can throw dozens of them, then it's most likely a code smell, because that method probably does too much and/or rethrows too many exceptions coming from even lower level methods, when at least some of those exceptions should be handled by the original method instead. Either way, since exceptions are special kinds of union types(and checked exceptions are special kinds of tagged unions), methods throwing so many exceptions have the same problems of union types having so many different types included, which at least indicate the possibility of low cohesion and/or tight coupling. Similarly, while it's totally fine for us to have a couple of negative emotions once in a while, if we frequently have so many negative emotions simultaneously, then it's most likely a sign for some needs on more personal growth, because we're probably under too much stress and/or have so many past yet unhealed mental sufferings triggered by the current adversities, when it'd be ideal for us to let go of at least some of those stale psychological pains. Either way, since emotions, including negative ones, are the communication media between our conscious and unconscious mind, when we frequently feel so many negative emotions simultaneously, it's natural to suspect that our conscious minds have been ignoring or twisting too many messages from our unconscious minds for far too long, and such self-defeating pattern can indicate the tendency of feeling a false need to strictly control the others rather than ourselves at all times, and being far from always solely responsible for our external behaviors(barring extreme cases like being forcibly drugged by the others). Chaining Exceptions - Stepping Back It seems to me, and possibly seems to you as well, that exception chaining is a best practice when it comes to handling exceptions, but whenever we've to chain exceptions, it means those exceptions can't be handled by places they're thrown, and have to be escalated to a higher level method, by wrapping those original exceptions irrelevant to that higher level method with exceptions meaningful to it, to hope that it can handle those wrapped exceptions, with the original exceptions as their causes. If it still can't handle those wrapped exceptions, the same exception chaining process will be repeated to further escalate those exceptions into an even higher level method, so the whole process will repeat until a high enough level method can handle those exceptions, or the program has to escalate them into the highest level and inform the end users about what really happened, then either ask for user inputs and continue the program safely or ask for user apologies and crash the program nicely. Without wrapping lower level exceptions with higher level exceptions, the higher level methods won't even understand what's going on, let alone doing anything meaningful to it; Without preserving the original lower level exceptions, the higher level methods won't know what causes the exceptions they understand, and sometimes different actions are needed for different causes. The same wisdom can be applied when we're facing some serious negative emotions that can't be just looked away from, but can't be directly dealt with on the level directly triggering those negative emotions either, and this can be illustrated with the following example. When my annual contract of my previous job nearly ended, I feel anxious about both renewing and not renewing the annual contract. On one hand, I liked the workplace, and I'd slightly miss it as well as my colleagues for a while if I just choose not to renew the contract; On the other hand, as I foresee a high probability for the workplace to change from being very nice to being very nasty within months, I'd probably have to change from contributing as much to the workplace as I sustainably can to protecting myself from the workplace as much as my track records won't become too broken, so I'd likely suffer significantly for quite a while if I choose to renew the contract. Because I already had some experience on self-awareness and mindfulness at that time, I realize that this apparent psychological conflict is more than just about the contract itself, so I took a step back and escalated this issue to a higher level. After some inner work, I revealed something noticeably deeper - I don't want to escape from difficult challenges and leave my colleagues behind(I was perceived by most of them as the most helpful colleague there), as I'd feel that doing so is a little bit like betraying at least some of them(now I still think I'm just an unforgivable deserter that deserves to be hated even though no one seems to despise me for that), but I don't want to go back to be someone defending my self interests at the cost of the greater good either, as I'd feel that doing so is going massively backwards when it comes to personal growth(and this will eventually harm my self interests even more even though this backward approach is just temporary). Since I already know that my core principle is to avoid hurting anyone else as much as I can sustainably do so(I suspect that my whole value system's built for this), while choosing either side is going to somehow violate what I care the most, I decided to choose the side that most likely hurt my colleague less - Not renewing the annual contract, in the hopes that the one replacing me will perform much better and help those colleagues much more than I did, thus causing them to at least suffer less. Of course, that doesn't mean my decision is perfect, because maybe I could've taken another step back, and try to have some insights on my past psychological pains causing me to avoiding hurting anyone else even at the cost of harming myself(provided that those harms are totally reversible), or maybe I could've found ways to raise my map of conscious level to joy(540) before starting the renewed contract, so I'd feel incredibly blessed and eternally ecstatic when I know I'm going to face the toughest challenge for me ever, while still sustainably contributing even more to my colleagues and fostering my personal growth. But without taking a step back and escalate the original conflict of whether to renew the contract into a higher level, I might not have understood that the nature of the conflict is actually failing to find any way to withstand my core principle no matter what I do, so I feel hurt and sad about having no means to maintain the integrity of my identity towards myself and possibly some of the others. Therefore, if I just kept struggling on the surface issue alone, no matter what I choose, I'd just be even more guilty and remorseful about what I've done and I'll have to do, all without fathoming why I'd be this ashamed of myself. Summary As seasoned professional programmers, we're good on our thinking sides, otherwise we wouldn't have lasted that long in the software engineering industries, so we'd usually have little problems on aspects primarily using our minds. But as authentic human being rather than objectified machines(although a little bit of systematic dehumanization is still a necessary evil to support the civilization of the mankind) solely for keeping the societies running(when societies are supposed to serve their members rather than the other way around), we'd want to be good on our feeling sides as well, otherwise we'd be more and more alienated and foreign with who we really are and what we really want, so our hearts would bleed and die more and more inside everyday we try to escape from and eliminate our negative emotions. Therefore, by spotting the similarities between exceptions and negative emotions, this article tried to apply some wisdom on handling the former into handling the latter, with the goal of helping me, and perhaps at least some of you, to be good on both our thinking and feeling sides(although most of you are already this good without needing this article at all), and to have little problems on using either our minds and hearts(rather than treating them as polar opposites), thus our lives can become more complete and fulfilling to us and preferably to the others. Even though this article is by no means exhaustive on applying wisdom on handling exceptions to handling negative emotions, at the very least, if we realize that choosing between letting our negative emotions take over control and repressing them is such a false dilemma that will only cause us to be more and more miserable, we're already on a good way to be more self-aware and mindful, just like how understanding exceptions will help us to be better and better programmers. As our emotional intelligence keep increasing, it'd be more natural for us to handle negative emotions wisely, until it'd so intuitive to us that it'd become our second nature, even though it doesn't mean that this will become a piece of cake nor we'll always do it well, just as sometimes we'll make an ugly mess out of exceptions no matter how seasoned and professional we're, and no matter how much we take exceptions seriously, hence it's still okay for us to become a little bit childish once in a while, and it's a part of being human rather than machines
  21. DarkPaladin

    Hello everyone.

    Possible, but Unity is better to develop other game genres specially 3D. If you want to go even grander, use Unreal Engine as long you have beefy PC.
  22. Rikifive

    The Photo Booth- show your face people!

    These cosplays are dope, looking very nice!
  23. KMessageTarget MV 2 Versions by Kyonides Arkanthes Introduction By default the Battle Log doesn't expect you to add a target's name to a skill action message. This plugin changes that to make sure you can certainly read who's the hero's current target. Simple Version //=========================================== // * KMessageTargetMV.js - Simple Version //=========================================== /*: * @plugindesc This plugin will let you add the enemy's name to a skill's * action message by using a tag or wildcard. * @author Kyonides Arkanthes * @help Date: 2023-01-30 * # * Free as in beer. * # * The regular expression or regex is %e by default. */ function KMessageTarget() { throw new Error('This is a static class'); } KMessageTarget.regex = /%e/i; Window_BattleLog.prototype.displaySkillTargets = function(subject, item, targets) { let target = 0; let msg = ""; for (var i = 0; i < targets.length; i++) { target = targets[i]; if (item.message1) { msg = subject.name() + item.message1.format(item.name); msg = msg.replace(KMessageTarget.regex, target.name()); this.push('addText', msg); } if (item.message2) { this.push('addText', item.message2.format(item.name)); } } } const KMessageTarget_win_btl_log_displayAction = Window_BattleLog.prototype.displayAction; Window_BattleLog.prototype.displayAction = function(subject, item, targets) { if (DataManager.isSkill(item)) { this.displaySkillTargets(subject, item, targets); } else { KMessageTarget_win_btl_log_displayAction.call(subject, item); } }; Window_BattleLog.prototype.startAction = function(subject, action, targets) { let item = action.item(); this.push('performActionStart', subject, action); this.push('waitForMovement'); this.push('performAction', subject, action); this.push('showAnimation', subject, targets.clone(), item.animationId); this.displayAction(subject, item, targets); }; Full Version //=========================================== // * KMessageTargetMV.js - Full Version //=========================================== /*: * @plugindesc This plugin will let you add the enemy's name to a skill's * action message by using a tag or wildcard. * @author Kyonides Arkanthes * @help Date: 2023-01-30 * # * Free as in beer. * # * * The regular expressions or regex are * %a for an Actor or Ally * %e for an Enemy * * Note Tag: _party item_ * It allows your hero uses an item on all of his or her allies while preventing * the Battle Log from repeating itself over and over again. * * You can customize the KMessageTarget.party_as_target string if necessary. */ function KMessageTarget() { throw new Error('This is a static class'); } KMessageTarget.item_list = [1, 6]; KMessageTarget.actor_regex = /%a/i; KMessageTarget.enemy_regex = /%e/i; KMessageTarget.no_target_item = / on %a/i; KMessageTarget.party_item = /_party item_/i; KMessageTarget.party_as_target = "the party"; Window_BattleLog.prototype.displaySkillTargets = function(s_name, item, targets) { let target = 0; let msg = ""; for (var i = 0; i < targets.length; i++) { target = targets[i]; if (item.message1) { msg = s_name + item.message1.format(item.name); msg = msg.replace(KMessageTarget.actor_regex, target.name()); msg = msg.replace(KMessageTarget.enemy_regex, target.name()); this.push('addText', msg); } if (item.message2) { this.push('addText', item.message2.format(item.name)); } } } Window_BattleLog.prototype.processNames = function(s_name, item, t_name) { let msg = TextManager.useItem.format(s_name, item.name); if (!KMessageTarget.item_list.includes(item.id)) { msg = msg.replace(KMessageTarget.no_target_item, ""); } msg = msg.replace(KMessageTarget.actor_regex, t_name); this.push('addText', msg); } Window_BattleLog.prototype.displayItemTargets = function(s_name, item, targets) { if ( KMessageTarget.party_item.exec(item.note) ) { this.processNames(s_name, item, KMessageTarget.party_as_target); return; } let target = 0; for (var i = 0; i < targets.length; i++) { target = targets[i]; this.processNames(s_name, item, target.name()); } } Window_BattleLog.prototype.displayAction = function(subject, item, targets) { let numMethods = this._methods.length; if (DataManager.isSkill(item)) { this.displaySkillTargets(subject.name(), item, targets); } else { this.displayItemTargets(subject.name(), item, targets); } if (this._methods.length === numMethods) { this.push('wait'); } }; Window_BattleLog.prototype.startAction = function(subject, action, targets) { let item = action.item(); this.push('performActionStart', subject, action); this.push('waitForMovement'); this.push('performAction', subject, action); this.push('showAnimation', subject, targets.clone(), item.animationId); this.displayAction(subject, item, targets); }; Side Note: There should be another regex that I could have used there, yet, I preferred to use a very specific one that people could quickly interpret as an enemy's name if they ever find it in the message box. We could say it's a very friendly reminder of what it actually stands for. Terms & Conditions Free as in beer. Include my nickname in your game credits. Read the instructions. Do not repost it.
  24. KTouchNewMapEvent XP + VX + ACE + MV by Kyonides Arkanthes Introduction Did you ever want that the engine would autorun events right after being touched by the player or another event? Especially once it finishes transferring the player to a new map... Now you can do that! Just copy and past the following snippet on your script editor! Download the Scripts! XP Version # * KTouchNewMapEvent XP # Scripter : Kyonides Arkanthes # 2022-09-29 # * Plug & Play Script * # # This scriptlet allows you to run an event after being transferred to another # map. It will run even if the trigger were the Player Touch or Event Touch one. # * Aliased Method: Game_Event#initialize class Game_Event alias :kyon_touch_new_map_event_init :initialize def initialize(map_id, event) kyon_touch_new_map_event_init(map_id, event) check_shared_location end def touch_trigger?() [1, 2].include?(@trigger) end def player_new_x?() $game_temp.player_new_x == @x end def player_new_y?() $game_temp.player_new_y == @y end def check_shared_location start if touch_trigger? and player_new_x? and player_new_y? end end VX Version # * KTouchNewMapEvent VX # Scripter : Kyonides Arkanthes # 2022-09-29 # * Plug & Play Script * # # This scriptlet allows you to run an event after being transferred to another # map. It will run even if the trigger were the Player Touch or Event Touch one. # * Aliased Method: Game_Event#initialize class Game_Player attr_reader :new_x, :new_y end class Game_Event alias :kyon_touch_new_map_event_init :initialize def initialize(map_id, event) kyon_touch_new_map_event_init(map_id, event) check_shared_location end def touch_trigger?() [1, 2].include?(@trigger) end def player_new_x?() $game_player.new_x == @x end def player_new_y?() $game_player.new_y == @y end def check_shared_location start if touch_trigger? and player_new_x? and player_new_y? end end VX ACE Version # * KTouchNewMapEvent ACE # Scripter : Kyonides Arkanthes # 2022-09-29 # * Plug & Play Script * # # This scriptlet allows you to run an event after being transferred to another # map. It will run even if the trigger were the Player Touch or Event Touch one. # * Aliased Method: Game_Event#setup_page class Game_Player attr_reader :new_x, :new_y end class Game_Event alias :kyon_touch_new_map_event_setup_page :setup_page def touch_trigger?() [1, 2].include?(@trigger) end def player_new_x?() $game_player.new_x == @x end def player_new_y?() $game_player.new_y == @y end def check_shared_location start if touch_trigger? and player_new_x? and player_new_y? end def setup_page(new_page) kyon_touch_new_map_event_setup_page(new_page) check_shared_location end end MV Version //================================== // * KTouchNewMapEventMV.js //================================== /*: * @plugindesc This plugin will be triggered if any given event's coordinates * match the player's and its trigger is either a Player or Event Touch. * @author Kyonides Arkanthes * @help Date: 2023-01-29 * */ const KTouchNewMap_event_setupPage = Game_Event.prototype.setupPage; Game_Player.prototype.newMapX = function() { return this._newX; } Game_Player.prototype.newMapY = function() { return this._newY; } Game_Event.prototype.setupPage = function() { KTouchNewMap_event_setupPage.call(this); this.checkEventTriggerNewMapTouch(); }; Game_Event.prototype.checkEventTriggerNewMapTouch = function() { if (this._trigger == 1 || this._trigger == 2) { if ($gamePlayer.newMapX() == this.x && $gamePlayer.newMapY() == this.y) { this.start(); } } }; Notes Honestly, there are other ways to trigger events without using scripts. Yet, you can still use my scriptlet to make it possible by setting its trigger as Player Touch or Event Touch. Terms & Conditions Free as in beer and as in speech. Please include my nickname in your game credits.
  25. KSkillNeedsState XP + VX + ACE by Kyonides Arkanthes Introduction Do you need to restrict the usage of a skill by forcing the hero to get a specific state first? Now you can do that! In XP's case Adjust the Constants you can see below as deemed necessary. module KSkillNeedsState SKILL_IDS = [57] STATE_ID = 17 end In VX & VX ACE The only thing you need to do is leaving a very specific note in the skill's note box. _need state ID_ Replace ID with a number. Download the Demos! XP Version # * KSkillNeedsState XP * # # Scripter : Kyonides Arkanthes # 2023-01-29 # * Free as in Beer * # # Adjust the values of the SKILL_ID and STATE_ID Constants at will. module KSkillNeedsState SKILL_IDS = [57] STATE_ID = 17 end class Game_Battler alias :kyon_gm_btlr_skill_can_use? :skill_can_use? def skill_need_state?(skill_id) KSkillNeedsState::SKILL_IDS.include?(skill_id) end def has_state_dependent_skill? state?(KSkillNeedsState::STATE_ID) end def skill_can_use?(skill_id) result = kyon_gm_btlr_skill_can_use?(skill_id) if result and skill_need_state?(skill_id) result = has_state_dependent_skill? end result end end VX Version # * KSkillNeedsState VX * # # Scripter : Kyonides Arkanthes # 2023-01-29 # * Free as in Beer * # # Leave this note _need state ID_ in the Skill's Note box. # There ID stands for any existing State ID. module KSkillNeedsState SKILL_REGEX = /_need state (\d+)_/i end class Game_Battler alias :kyon_gm_btlr_skill_can_use? :skill_can_use? def skill_need_state?(skill) return true if skill.note[KSkillNeedsState::SKILL_REGEX] == nil state?($1.to_i) end def skill_can_use?(skill) result = kyon_gm_btlr_skill_can_use?(skill) result = skill_need_state?(skill) if result result end end VX ACE Version # * KSkillNeedsState ACE * # # Scripter : Kyonides Arkanthes # 2023-01-29 # * Free as in Beer * # # Leave this note _need state ID_ in the Skill's Note box. # There ID stands for any existing State ID. module KSkillNeedsState SKILL_REGEX = /_need state (\d+)_/i end class Game_Battler alias :kyon_gm_btlr_skill_cond_met? :skill_conditions_met? def skill_need_state?(skill) return true if skill.note[KSkillNeedsState::SKILL_REGEX] == nil state?($1.to_i) end def skill_conditions_met?(skill) result = kyon_gm_btlr_skill_cond_met?(skill) result = skill_need_state?(skill) if result result end end Terms & Conditions Free as in beer. Include my nickname in your game credits.
  26. kyonides

    alternate battle drop treasure screen

    I don't pretend to give you hope on getting a direct answer, but I felt the need to ask you this: are you using a frontview or sideview battle system? Or some action BS? Every single one of them would require a different approach depending on the BS and their custom functions.
  27. kyonides

    Hello everyone.

    And from your experience, is Unity suited for RPG's? Or it'd be better to use it to develop other game genres?
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