“Can you tell me more about Emanai Manors waging battles, Anaise?” I murmured as my hand continued to comb her tail.
After yet another day of travel, we entered yet another city to stay for the night. The maps did not lie — small towns had been conveniently established along the road exactly one day of travel apart. Both to serve as a place to stay and a local market for the nearby peasantry. Yet another nod to the pace and perception of time in Emanai.
Large tasks were partitioned in day intervals. You were travelling somewhere far? Your trip was divided into daily hops from one settlement to another. Did you want to sell your produce or buy a bronze plough for your fields? A market was no further than a half-day of walking distance away, close enough to complete your purchases and return home within a day. You were out on the streets and looking for work? Many places would hire workers for a day every morning, choosing the best from a crowd of hopefuls.
It permeated all layers of Emanai society. The mage and beggar alike, all measured their life by the ever-present clock in the sky.
Small little details like that were slowly expanding my worldview. Like the place we were staying at: this wasn’t an inn where most travellers would spend the night for a cut but the guest room of a local wermage family that was connected to the Kiymetl. Or they were seeking closer ties with the Kiymetl; I wasn’t exactly sure.
We enjoyed our welcome sharing a filling dinner with the local Domina and her unmarried sons. Some gossip from the capital was shared, a few gifts were exchanged, and we were given a cosy room to ourselves. That already showed the stark difference compared to Samat and Aikerim’s Manor. Just a few days of travel and the local nobility could no longer afford to keep multiple empty guestrooms to stay idle just in case an enormous group of Pillar wermages decided that now was the time to join Emanai arms.
Domina did try to offer us her family bedrooms, but Anaise politely declined. Good relationships were important to maintain, and a single room gave us time to spend together while not surrounded by the cavalcade of other Manors. To relax and to plot.
“Hmm?” Anaise twisted her ear in my direction without turning her head or shifting from her place on my lap. “I thought Akhtar Siamak was supposed to teach you all about it. Did he fail at his task?”
Irje mimicked Anaise’s ear movements from a nearby couch, lying prone with a satisfied grin on her face and a glistening shine of oil on her butt.
Our first casualty to travel.
The sudden rush of the Pillar Manors to join us waylaid our original plans. Rather than travelling alone with some servants — giving me sufficient privacy to continue my attempts at translating magic while Irje and Anaise improved their spells — we were stuck in the large crowd of people whose opinions did matter. Whose noses, ears, and eyes were also stuck in our direction.
In the eyes of Emanai, Anaise was travelling to battle. She was a warrior, prepared to throw away the comforts of her home so that she could protect the safety of her homeland. It was given that she had to travel horseback, rather than in the ‘comfort’ of a travel wagon.
As the members of ‘her’ sadaq, Irje and I were less constrained by public expectations. The flowers of Anaise’s garden were allowed to have some creature comforts.
Irje was obviously having none of that.
The only issue was that Anaise had years to learn how to ride while Irje and I were still new to it. While handling itself wasn’t that big of an issue as we got two very calm steeds, the same could not be said about the muscles required to stay upright on a constantly shifting animal.
Our cougar was strong, but, alas, she wasn’t ready. The saddle did help, but the lack of stirrups did not. After the first day of riding, Irje was down with muscle cramps across her lower back and upper legs and the only reason I wasn’t lying beside her and bemoaning a similar fate was the fact that my nanites worked tirelessly to compensate for my lack of experience.
My resilience didn’t go unnoticed: I was accused of cheating and forcibly conscripted to the arduous task of daily massage. That alone didn’t last long either. On the third day of our travels, Anaise accused Irje of faking her cramps and, after some time deliberating amongst themselves, demanded an equal treatment for herself in compensation.
The official excuse was the cramps in her tail as well as the matted hair from daily riding.
“Master Siamak taught me a lot, but it was the critical knowledge that I had to know.” I gently massaged the tail muscles of her back. “He taught me what I had to do myself in order to stay alive. How to aim and thrust my enormous pike and pierce enemies and Creatures alike. How to plant my shield into the ground and hide from fiery spells or use it to protect war mages and archers behind my back. When to drop my main weapon so that I can grab my sword or kattar. He spoke about foot formations, which I would be a part of, but he didn’t talk about the Kishava chicken-leg huts. Can you imagine getting booted across the Forest just because the poultry magomech thought you were in its way?”
The werfox tail lightly slapped my face. “Arusak-at, Erf, stop your swears. And it is very unlikely that one of them will get close to you. The wermages that control them know what they are doing and those legs, while sturdy, don’t grow on trees. As far as I was told, the siege arusak-at stay behind fists of the arm during battles and serve as elevated platforms for archers, war mages, or generals.”
“You see? This is the type of knowledge that I lack, Anaise. I might have libraries stored inside my brain but, when it comes to Emanai, I only know Samat and the Chimgen manor where I was born. Like why are those legs so irreplaceable?”
“Have you seen their size? There are no creatures that large enough in Emanai!”
I gave her butt a soft slap, making her yelp in outrage. “Samat and Chimgen, Anaise.”
She huffed at me and pulled her tunic down. “If any bone inside breaks, the arusak will crumble. A single Kishava war mage can control a few arusak-at at the same time but they can’t power resistance runes at the same time. At least two wermages are needed to keep it moving in battle, more if it needs to withstand serious assaults. The Kishava is a numerous Manor but they can’t afford to fill every siege arusak with a handful of their best.”
My combing to soothe the now-grumpy fox stopped mid-stroke. “Wait… bones? So they weren’t doing this for some stylistic reason? To scare their enemies into submission and whatnot?”
“I do not know the details: these are the Kishava Secrets we are talking about. But all of their arusak-at that I’ve seen personally had bones within.”
“Even their golem troops? Are you telling me that they are necromancers?”
“Mages that raise the undead from the ground or something like that. Mould dead flesh and bone to do their bidding.”
Anaise twisted in my lap to give me the stink eye. “That sounds disgusting! Those bones are cleaned while the flesh is given a proper pyre burial.”
“So they are necromancers,” I sighed. “I wasn’t being literal when I said from the ground. I meant the use of remains. Human in particular.”
“Says the daimon, who makes trees give birth to enormous bugs,” Irje suddenly spoke up.
“Exactly!” Anaise agreed. “It is not like they are doing it for no reason — arusak-at have been defending Emanai borders as long as the Kishava Manor existed.”
“I can understand the cultural aspect of this, especially early in Emanai history when the Forest was everywhere and people were in short supply. The ability to raise an army to defend your borders was and still is quite invaluable. My main point of concern is the impact they might have on human life right now.”
“What do you mean?” Irje asked.
“Everything has a cost, even the things that shouldn’t. Even arusak-at have a cost to their creation: the work that needs to be done to prepare the bones, a lot of wermage involvement as well. I assume those bones need special runes too?”
“They don’t need runes to move them, but they make it much easier to control, yes.” Anaise nodded.
“At the same time, Arusak-at bring a net benefit to the Kishava Manor. Enough to cover all that cost and more; they wouldn’t make them in the first place, otherwise. Now tell me: since they are the sole slave-trading Manor, what would happen if they end up with a slave that is worth more as an arusak?”
“Slaves are too expensive for that…” Anaise spoke without conviction.
“I was gifted to your Manor for free. As a bonus to seal the deal. And so was Yeva.” I reminded her.
“I do not know, Erf. But I do know one thing — do not discuss this with the Kishava themselves. Your concerns will not change their ways but will antagonise them greatly as a whole. Putting a single rowdy mutt in place is one thing — accusing their entire Manor might cost us.”
“I understand. Besides, it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to twist my nose about their necromantic spells while I craft weapons to kill and maim.”
“What about your trees?” Irje spoke up. “Can they grow bones for the Kishava? That way they don’t have to get them somewhere else.”
“Perhaps.” I scratched my chin in contemplation. “My bio-printers can’t grow human-like skeletons or enormous chicken legs, but they can be programmed to do partial builds. Rather than creating a complete living tech, they can assemble the skeletal structure and stop. Those would mostly be insectoid designs with very specific methods of movement, however. I don’t know if their wermages could move them well. Even the ‘Chicken Legs’ towers move like a bipedal human from the looks of it.”
Anaise pushed me to the end of the couch and put her head on my lap. “The Kishava can control Creature carapaces too. You might not see many since intact ones are rare and precious, but they aren’t limited to one shape as long as it is worth it.”
“Something to keep in mind, then,” I agreed. “As a last resort, however. I do not think it is prudent to sell my bones to them at this point.”
“You don’t want them to know about your abilities?”
I chuckled. “It is more that I am not willing to provide them with unreasonably powerful weapons. The steel that Isra is making right now is absolutely archaic to the bone tissues that my bio-printers can make.”
I let my skinsuit extend onto my arm and rapped my knuckles on the scales. “Imagine how powerful the Kishava could get if they had arusak-at that were nearly impervious to usual Emanai weaponry, runed or not. They could also improve it further with runes while the Kiymetl would only gain gold or some favours, since you do not have appropriate spells to animate them and have only me and Yeva to guide the small numbers of living tech. If the need arises to sway them to our side, we can present them with a fancy skeleton that came from ‘faraway lands’ or something equally vague but nothing else for now.”
“And both of you are more valuable to us as artisans and teachers rather than warriors. Good choice.” Anaise nodded in agreement. “Besides, anything the Kishava can offer you, the Kiymetl can provide as well. Let’s move on with the topic for now: the other two Manors of War also depend on Flow to affect bones to some degree. Have you seen Kamshad armour?”
“Yes, rather bulky for my liking but quite imposing. They reinforce their bones to wear it?”
“That is actually what the Kosenya are known for. The Kamshad mould their flesh and bones to grow into war-forms. Longer arms and legs allow them to move faster and strike harder than the Enoch, while abundant wermage fur protects them from sword strikes.”
“And the size of their armour is intended to accommodate their growth?” Receiving a nod in confirmation, I shrugged. “Well they are werewolves for a reason, I guess. Can they shift at any time, or is it dependent on a moon phase? Do they lose their ability to reason when they turn?”
Irje snorted again.
“Werwolves, Erf,” Anaise sighed. “Yes, it was a good idea that you are asking those questions to me and in private. They can change at will — the moon has no effect on Flow — nor do they turn into animals without reason, as you tried to imply.”
I coughed. “Good to know. Not much to work with, however. Maybe custom armour, but they probably know better how to shape armour for their bodies.”
“They would enjoy your looking glasses,” Anaise reasoned. “Kamshad generals often lead Emanai arms and many of them rely on Kishava’s arusak-at to see as far as they can.”
“Your mother was quite insistent on bringing a few of them with us.” I nodded in understanding.
“Yes, Emanai arms usually have internal power dynamics, separate from Emanai as a whole. While my status as the Lady of the House will allow some freedoms, I won’t be given any commanding positions just because I hail from a Pillar Manor. Even less can be said about Irje and you. Gifting a looking glass to our future arm general will improve our treatment even further.
“As I mentioned earlier, the Kosenya are more about strengthening their bones and flesh instead. Out of all Emanai Manors, they possess the greatest stamina when it comes to empowering runes. Most archers come from their Manor and most Flow healers that you might see would likely have the name Kosenya as they often cut open their bodies and carve runes directly into their bones.” Anaise glances at me sideways. “Does that too offend your morals?”
I shook my head. “Not at all. As long as it is done on a willing person, who am I to judge? I’ve performed a lot of body modifications on myself and was the leading cause in Yeva’s changes as well.”
“I do not think that the Kosenya can make themselves tasty, however,” Irje mused.
“Yes.” Anaise rolled her eyes. “The greatest folly of Flow: inability to turn seed into a dessert.”
“The taste is quite magical, if you ask me,” Irje snirked. “Especially if you get both of them together, quite a taste I tell y-mph!”
“Anyway!” Anaise huffed as her magic tried to suffocate giggling Irje with a pillow. “The next two Pillar Manors are Enoch and Samat. Both of them manipulate rocks and soil with Flow. Samat war mages are more likely to hurl large boulders at enemies, while the Enoch can form trenches, hills, and even ramps to scale walls during sieges, faster than the arm otherwise could. But warriors from both Manors are quite capable in melee with their height and reach. The Shebet on the other hand are rare on the battlefield; they wield forces of wind.”
“Wind?” I asked with surprise.
Of all things that I’d seen, Albin didn’t look like a wind mage. He did have a ‘windy’ personality, and occasionally floated in mid-air but that looked to me more like gravity manipulation rather than some wind lifting him by blowing up his ass. Even less could be said about the sibling’s propensity to stop time at the drop of a hat. At the same time, both of them either requested or demanded my silence about this topic, claiming it as a Shebet Secret.
“Yes, their war mages can blow large groups of people aside with sharp gusts. Or they can listen to the whispers in the wind and tell where the enemy is.”
Or Albin simply stopped time and trekked over some hills for reconnaissance.
“What about the Kiymetl?”
“Remember your fight with Ramad?”
“Wood manipulation? Why didn’t you say anything before?”
Anaise grimaced. “It doesn’t work with the Forest. Besides, I am learning new ways to handle Flow right now!”
“Well, the Forest isn’t made of trees, so I can see why such spells might not work. I should still send a message to Yeva anyway and have her grow some specialised lumber.”
She pushed herself up from my lap. “What do you mean they aren’t trees!? They are like wer and wermages are to murks!”
I shook my head. “Nope. Not even close. I did spend some time trying to figure out what those trees actually are at our estate. While I still can’t say much about what they are, I can definitely say what they are not. Murk, wer, and wermages are more related to trees than the Forest growths are. They aren’t even individual trees but a collection of worm-like growths fused together to form a tree-like shape. Honestly, if you asked me what the closest link between the two types of trees was I would point you at a piece of coal.”
Anaise’s ears tilted sideways with disbelief. “Coal? Like the rock from the ground?”
“The very same. We are all carbon-based lifeforms and, while the reason for using this element is similar, we are using it in completely different ways. It is like making a sand castle compared to building one from glass: the shape might be similar, so is the most basic ingredient, but everything else is nowhere close.”
“But why can the Kishava use Creatures as their arusak-at and we can’t?”
“I remember your second father warping wood to the desired shape in moments. Can the Kishava do the same?”
Anaise smiled lightly. “They cannot. They have to work with the forms they have and fix those bones to the original shapes once they are broken.”
“Exactly. They just move pieces around. Carve a dildo from a bone and Irje can probably move that. She might get even better at this arusak-at magic than the Kishava themselves as she isn’t limited by the material. My assumption is that your wood magic doesn’t target something nebulous like ‘wood’ but rather something more specific like lignin that gives trees their rigidity or cellulose that makes the flesh of the plants tougher compared to the flesh of animals. The white trees have neither of those.”
The question was how this Flow control actually affected matter.
“What do you mean ‘probably’!?” Irje butted in with outrage. “I have a few carved out from bone already and let me tell you — I have no problems controlling them!”
Anaise laughed out loud and I waved to our cougar. “Come here.”
“Oh?” Irje’s ears twitched. “Are you going to punish me for my insolence? Come here and spank my rosy cheeks, that your fingers were all over not that long ago?”
I rolled my eyes. “Minx. Are you getting better with your gauntlets?”
She wiggled her fingers, making one of the gauntlets burst open from the nearby chest and crawl on all fives toward us. Then she looked at me and wiggled her eyebrows.
“Anaise,” I glanced down at the werfox in my lap, “a moment of silence, please.”
Intrigued, she cast her own magic and turned back to look at me.
“We were occupied for the last tenday, so I didn’t have the chance to get back to this before. Your description of how you move these gauntlets reminds me of something specific. Something that I wasn’t teaching you before because we haven’t gotten the basics yet.”
The sultry look disappeared from Irje’s face as two sets of ears stood up straight. “Oh?”
“Gravity, Irje. Your descriptions about how you twist the fabric of a room with your Flow hand sounds somewhat similar to how this very planet pulls us inward by twisting the fabric of space and time with its mass.”
“Tana is using Flow to hold us?”
“No, Tana is simply that massive. It might sound magical but it is a fundamental part of our universe.” I scratched my chin in thought. “Although, magic is quite fundamental to you as well.”
“So how can I improve it?” Irje asked.
I looked at her apologetically. “To be honest — by doing what already works. By the looks of it, you are developing a four-dimensional form of magic all by yourself and implementing it faster than I can teach you about it. I will try to adjust our lessons and steer both of you in this direction but this isn’t just some new numbers we are talking about. What I can say is try using it with things other than dildoes and gloves — if you are manipulating spacetime…” which was absolutely ludicrous already, “…then it doesn’t matter the material or the shape it is in. We should get a runed tunic or even armour so you can practise moving them like the Kishava move their arusak-at. Because it sounds like you are manipulating things as if you are wearing them yourself so there shouldn’t be much difference whether it is a glove or a jacket.”
“Should I rune my brigandine?”
I shook my head. “Better not. Whether it would work or not, it might leave you vulnerable to other mages simply grabbing you by those runes and throwing you around like a sack of potatoes.”
“No wermage can hold her if she is in control of those runes,” Anaise said. “The way that she grips Flow isn’t very pleasant to experience on yourself.”
“Still, I would prefer to keep the main armour free from anchoring runes until Irje is confident in her abilities.”
“I…” Irje shifted her glance between us and the door.
Anaise sighed. “Go. Talk to our servants outside — they will get you some spare armour to train with.”
Irje took off, giving us the final flash of her butt until her tunic slid down, and Anaise settled back into my arms.
“It feels like I am falling behind…” she murmured after a few seconds of silence.
“You? The wall-shattering, tree-mulching Anaise that can ignore protection runes?”
She grinned but shook her head. “I don’t want to be just that, you know? I don’t want to have magic that only shatters and crushes things into dust. I want to develop spells that can be written down in the Kiymetl spellcodex for my children and their children to learn and remember. I want to be like my mother who can take your knowledge and incorporate it into her spells. Instead, I can’t even learn Irje’s new spell as I crush and crumple any glove I try to practise with.”
“Your mother had a whole century to practise before you were even born,” I reminded her. “In terms of crushing gauntlets — if this is something like gravity, I wouldn’t be surprised by such results coming from you. It just shows how strong you really are.”
“What do you mean?”
“Who is Irje?”
Anaise blinked. “My wife?”
I shook my head. “She is a wer. Or something between a ‘true’ wer and a ‘true’ wermage. She has the Spark, she can feel other Sparks, but she can’t sense Flow itself. I am not trying to diminish her achievements here — they are tremendous — but I just want to point out that her spell developments are coming from scarcity. Either because she lacks the wermage powers to control Flow, or because she is unable to use her powers efficiently to achieve the desired result since she can’t see where Flow is leaking. The solutions that she is coming up with are designed for her circumstances — they aren’t designed with you in mind. When you use them yourself it is akin to Isra Haleh smashing her sledgehammer down with the same effort as a murk apprentice would. While the apprentice would shape the blank with their hit, Isra would smash through the anvil.
“This is why I am this slow in teaching you geometry and math. I am not providing you with solutions to discrete problems — I am giving you a broad range of tools to use as you see it best. You are simply at the awkward phase where your powers have grown too strong for fine control yet you lack the years of experience to rein them in. Give it time.”
“And what if I don’t?” Anaise whispered back, looking at my lips. “What if I want it all and now?”
I smiled and gave her a kiss. “Then we should keep working at translating that spell poetry of yours. While I lack the Spark to sense and imagine the things those poems are trying to invoke, math doesn’t have such limitations.”
Aikerim Kiymetl Adal
She looked at the freshly painted bust, trying to see any imperfections or deviations from the original. The artist knew what he was doing and the marble sculpture looked almost alive.
“Are you in love, young Domina?” Sophia Chasya smirked from a nearby couch.
Aikerim glanced at the Censor and slowly turned her eyes back to the bust. “The quality is indeed worth appreciating.”
Those busts served an important purpose for Manorial record keeping. They let future generations know how heroes of the past looked, that the heroes looked like them. There was no place for artistic embellishments and every wrinkle, scar, or mole told its own story.
Sophia scoffed and let a glowing scroll sail across the room. “Your Goddess has blessed you with her words. Heed the message and you will be rewarded. Ignore it, and the reward would be in kind.”
Aikerim put aside the bust and turned to the floating scroll in front of her just as it started to unravel. She quickly read the list of Divine interests and committed them to memory. “Thank you, Sophia Shebet Chasya. I shall begin my tasks with utmost immediacy.”
“As you should.” She nodded amicably. “I am aware that certain…events…have swayed your hand too soon but the Goddess is quite generous with time. If you send a messenger right away, your alchemist will have enough time to return. You can even use one of the Shebet messengers if you so desire.”
“Thank you, Censor, but that won’t be necessary.” Aikerim smiled ever so sweetly. “I believe that my Manor can meet the expectations of our Goddess without taking the husband of my daughter away from his current task. He was quite eager to defend both Emanai and Anaise, after all. Who am I to refuse?”
“You are his Domina!” Sophia thundered, getting up. “Are you telling me that you can’t control your family?”
“But his actions are just,” Aikerim reasoned back. “I wouldn’t hold the name of Adal if I interfered out of my whim.”
“He…he taught you everything?” Sophia half-asked, half-stated as she looked at Aikerim. “He left the knowledge behind? Stayed himself? What? Why is it so murky!”
Domina frowned, “I assure you that my Manor is just as capable without Erf present.”
“I know that!” She stopped pacing and fixed her kaftan, murmuring something about her brother. “The meeting was quite ‘fruitful’, Aikerim Adal, but I must depart. Duties of the Censor are ever-present.”
“Of course.” Aikerim nodded, got up, and clapped her hands. “My husband will escort you to the entrance.”
Sophia left her Manor in a hurry, but Aikerim didn’t leave her room. The Censor’s outburst wasn’t planned for but it was expected: while other Manors were eyeing her daughter, Sophia was quite clear in her interests. She was also quite powerless to change the events that she and Erf had put in motion. Censor or not.
She was close to it, however. Without Yeva inheriting Erf’s knowledge, Aikerim would’ve kept at least just him here in Samat. It was also possible that she took her time with the Divine Scroll as well: the list was extensive but lacked the most recent inventions. Another possibility was that her Goddess simply wasn’t interested in new swords — why would the Goddess need the weapon of mortals?
But that was not something she would ever find out.
Her fingers touched the bust again and Aikerim turned to her silent attendant. “Sulla, summon her inside.”
The philosophies of Divine nature could wait. There was a new avalanche rumbling on the hills of Emanai, and the name of that avalanche was Kiymetl.
The door opened again. “I’ve heard your summons.” Wrena bowed at the entrance.
Aikerim nodded. “Come in, Wrena of the Kiymetl. I have summoned you today for an important task.”
Domina snapped her fingers, making the bust turn toward her master carpenter. Face to face. Red to red and amber to amber.
“Is that!?” Wrena gasped.
“It is. Do you approve of the artist’s work?”
“Oh, thank you!” Her ears twitched with excitement. “It is like looking into a mirror!”
Aikerim looked at the elated wer in front of her, giving her time and silence to enjoy the experience. It wasn’t that discussions with Erf and Yeva changed her stance or attitude, but they did change how she looked at the future and the glimpses of possibilities Aikerim could recognise from Erf’s inventions.
It mattered less now that Wrena was just a wer, a fox of Kiymetl but nothing more. Guided by Erf, her fingers brought previously unthinkable prosperity to Aikerim’s Manor and would continue to do so in the future. Erf wasn’t the golden swan himself — he was the Alchemist who could make other swans golden. Swans like Wrena. Isra.
Aikerim glanced down at her fingers with a smile; they were gilded as well.
But she was Aikerim Adal. Aikerim the Just. While Erf had earned his accolades, she could not ignore the others.
“You’ve earned it, Wrena of the Kiymetl. My Manor will not just remember your actions but your face as well. Your children and the children of your children will know of your current deeds and the deeds you will undoubtedly achieve in the future. Just as my children would.”
“Thank you, Domina,” Wrena knelt in the sand and sniffed, “for your benevolence.”
“The bust is incomplete.” Aikerim interrupted her. “It needs a name.”
“But.” Wrena glanced at the sculpture, seeing Wrena Kiymetl written on it and then her eyes slid to the empty space beside the other two. “Oh…”
Her fist slammed the sand of Aikerim’s office with a dull thud. “Give me the third name, my Domina. Let me bear that name in pride as I serve your Manor!”
Aikerim nodded and got up, a comb in her hand. “Some say that only wermages are worthy of three names. That only they can earn the privilege due to their powers. I say your deeds alone are enough. Your loyalty, skill, and craft brought plenty to my Manor and honour to your name.”
The Enoch Manor was trying to take Isra Haleh, and others might quickly set their sights on other golden swans of Aikerim’s Manor. She couldn’t afford to remain ungrateful.
Aikerim walked over and started to slowly unravel Wrena’s braids so that she could comb and braid them again, herself. Her fingers were gently wiping tears off, as Wrena sat silently in the sand.
“Know your name, Wrena Kiymetl Khayrat,” Aikerim murmured as her fingers deftly inserted blue rings into the red hair. “And tell it to your children. For it is your honoured deeds that earned it.”
Why is it so murky!
How frustrating must it be to observe the result of a phenomenon and not being able to observe the cause of it despite knowing what that cause is.
I give it 3 chapters until Sophia figures out Yeva.
Also, I get that Irje has to work with what is available, but how hard can it be for Erf's plants to produce silicone dildos?
Why silicone? Erf's plants can make faux-flesh for life-likeness. Probably with internal heating, vibe, thrust and shoot functions too.
If that is something she is trying to solve - yeah.
The assumption is that Irje has a collection of whatever already. No point listing every one of her toys. Besides she has Erf nearby and she isnt that permanently horny
@Ekmo why faux flesh? just grab Erf!
@Snusmumriken i need to ask something that is bothering me for quite a while. In which book more or less we will see Erf aquiring murkmage powers?
@Loggar I dont particularly want him to be a mage per se. Not in the same way other mages are or even someone like Anaise might become. As such i do not have any definitive time set up for him to gain magic.
@Snusmumriken i have an idea if you are interested. Reach me in DMS, if you would like to hear about it
@Loggar Honestly, I am pretty set where i see my main cast. I do not wish to cast MC as a "coloniser" stereotype where he ends up with better or more unique magic than the civilisation that practised it for centuries\millennia. He has his strengths and he will have weaknesses just as all other characters will. I am open to ideas, but there are many limitations I place myself under that I never reveal to the readers.
@Snusmumriken No. No. Quite the opposite. Something more along the shaman and druidic nature. He can connect with others and he can grow brio printers, heck he can already "talk" to insects, and as far as you given possibility do far out would be possible to tap into were mages mind with a bug or something similar, specially since we can clearly see were mages do that already. I was just think along the lines that with certain nano machines scan the body of a wermage to understand the spark doesn't seem so far fetched...
It's quite fitting that Sophia is the first one to be bamboozled by the Double Daimon stratagem. It even messed with her precognition, lol.
Edit: By the way, how quickly could Yeva alter her body to look like Erf, assuming she had food on hand to supply the buttload of calories needed for a 'rush job'?
Also, Wrena's movin' on up! (movin' on up)
She finally got a piece of the pie!
(I remember the theme to The Jeffersons, god I feel so old...)
Wait... Virnan has a deluxe apartment in the sky! Now I'm imagining Sherman Hemsley as Virnan and it's doing me in. All yelling at Erf and calling him a jive turkey...
About as quick as Erf I would say. A couple of days tops for larger changes like growing a d*ck.
Alas I am a troglodyte when it comes to TV in general so i can't tell you exactly how close that comparison is.
Pretty good infodump without actually feeling like an infodump. You managed to find the right balance.
Also, need a little help. You mentioned in the last chapter of WB that if the container for the gamma voltaic battery was damaged then the whole place would've been a radioactive wasteland. Help me understand that layman's terms. Even if the slightest crack forms, will it always explode with all it's power or if it's turned down or turned off (if they can be turned down) will it just constantly leak radiation?
Well there is an endless forest of grotesque trees and mutated beasts, so that would gibt towards leaked radiation.
No it wont explode, and is quite sturdy so unlikely to crack. If it is somehow gets broken then yes it will start emitting gamma rays through cracks that might likely affect the area over time. Just think of it like an x-ray machine that someone left turned on for 500+ years.
@Aldandur Erf specified that this isn't mutation but a completely alien life.
@Snusmumriken *stalker intensifies*
@Snusmumriken Thanks for answering my question.
@Zohan If you are asking for some in depth details that would likely never be listed in the story. I envisioned the batteries a fissile material with an extremely long half-life so that in its "zero" state it isn't very reactive. The fuel is either provides both gamma rays (used to generate energy) and neutrons (used to accelerate the fission process) or a gamma source and neutron source. Battery "turns on" by achieving criticality where fuel doesn't simply slowly decay over millions of years but it actively split by additional neutrons flying around.
Having something like this broken apart and scattered around would probably not be a very good thing but ultimately it wont devastating for the environment. If battery was turned on to MAX and cracked open It would probably be like a nasty flashlight with very harsh burning "light" (not visible) sipping through the cracks. Potentially deadly if you stay around but once again not devastating.
In fact, you can break apart all nuclear material into three categories. there is fast-decaying stuff that is bad for few seconds\minutes\hours\days but not very nasty thereafter (if not outright inert), Then there is very slow decaying stuff that takes a few million\billion years to decay -- like bananas. Also quite manageable.
The nastiest possible nuclear stuff for humans are things with half-life in months\years\centuries\millenia range. Reactive enough to constantly spit out energised particles left and right, but inert enough to retain its status as a pain in humanity's ass for thousands of years. That stuff you need to isolate with extreme prejudice because it will stick around for a while.
@Snusmumriken thanks, you've helped me create my character, so to speak.
@Zohan Yeah i figured you were asking for personal inspiration here.
Good for Wrena. Shes moving up places. Aikerim is literally the binding force between the madness Erf brings out and the rest of the world. She gets profit from it but she aint shortsighted. Its refreshing to see her work.
She got a wave she always dreamt of and now she can ride it all the way through!
Thus the meritocracy born. Too sad most nobles in our history couldn't realize the change and extinct.
Eh on a local scale it always exists in my opinion. Technically Emanai is at least partially meritocratic system as Matriarchs usually choose the most capable to head new Manors.
“Then we should keep working at translating that spell poetry of yours. While I lack the Spark to sense and imagine the things those poems are trying to invoke, math doesn’t have such limitations.”
Regarding Erf's lack of Flow sense, if he successfully augments Anaise with nanites and a Harald, would Anaise be able to transmit how she feels Flow through the Harald link?
If we're guessing, I'm going to guess no. At least not the type/strength we've been told about. If the link has a boosted mode, then maybe.
Maybe? what would be the point of that, apart from satisfying Erf's curiosity?
@SiliconWolf she could transmit the memory of her senses (especially in close range with physical contact)
@Snusmumriken Aside from curiosity, I thought it might facilitate exploration into how Flow works. Although, it's been demonstrated in past chapters that even rough knowledge of new mathematical concepts lead to explosive (RIP apple saddle) growth in Flow control. So, sense transfer would probably be a side-note by the time Erf figures out wermage nanite augmentation.
@Tupperwarez If Anaise has nanites -- she can start research herself. she doesnt inherently need Erf for that to continue as nanites will likely bring improved understanding of mathematics and brain modifications to help with calculations.
@Snusmumriken If flow attacks can affect Erf, it means on a fundemental level that Erf's matter/pressense/ect can interact with flow.
If Erf can get feedback on how his actions affect flow, via Anaise's senses, he could experiment with it and discover his own practical uses.
@BDF2 visible light can interact with our bodies as well and we can affect how we reflect said light by putting makeup or dying our hair. Doesn't mean that we can emit visible light ourselves.
@Snusmumriken It's the basis of testing, the build devices that create light we couldn't previously detect, find substances or reactions that produce it....craete devices to manipulate it and so on. It all starts with perception.
If you can observe, you can experiment,
If you can experiment you can refine, build, and create.
@BDF2 But what i meant in the first post is Anaise with nanites would be an even better observer and experimenter of things magical than Erf would. I am not saying experimentation is impossible just there is no need to rely on MC himself.
I have a suggestion.
Maybe add a buffer space between the end of the chapter and the author notes. There is a certain mood and immersion as we read the chapter, and having a final beat to ourselves at the end, to finish the reading session, is good. It's like a fade to black instead of a brutal cut at the end of a movie.
I usually try, but SH often eats up the multiple extra lines i spam there.
Do I comment before reading the chapter or after? Should this be a question? I love spouting gibberish to much not to comment. But I will still say onr related thing, ama be waiting for leaf and I hope I will be blown away by the actual ship reveal.
Best to comment after you have feasted, it is rude to discuss the meal before even having partake in it
Obviously you have to comment right after I replied to the comment you are about to make!
You can comment whenever and I usually try to answer all comments anyway (but it might be harder to comment on the chapter's plot without reading it first methinks)
@ToasterForkerAnonymous Unles you point at it and loudly exclaim "What is that smell!?"
TFTC! So does that mean the entire forest is made of worms? Oh... Ew...
I wouldn't call them worms either. They are organised in a completely different fashion and this would me akin to calling our muscles as made of worms too since the muscle cells look like spindles.
@Snusmumriken that is an excellent analogy. So I suppose Erf doesn't really know what it is either huh... Interesting. Sorry for late reply
@Nariod yes, he had been adamant that it is alien with sufficient proof.
Thanks for the chapter!