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Literature
Light Beyond the Screen (Literature)
Some might say that being a shut-in means becoming the trash of the society. My mind disagrees – my heart agrees.
A lusterless light flickers in my dark room. I’m sitting on my computer chair, my hands on the keyboard. My laptop is an antiquated piece of hardware made from whatever passed for glorious technology in the beginning of the millenium. It used to be a top-notch computer back in the day - big emphasis on used to.
I have a dozen tabs open on my browser: a few webcomics of the action variety, then sites that publish hardware reviews, and, to top it all off, a how-to-guide for poisoning a person - just for the heck of it.
You can probably see that I live a very varied life.
As I’m looking at the screen, I hear a sudden chime - a message has arrived on one of my chatting apps. I click and open Lichcord, a recent gaming app meant for easy conversing with friends. The messager is Daggerlord – one of my friends online.
”Yo, you online?” he
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 11: Chapter 3 (4)

Read the first update here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)
***

Chapter 3: Minor squabble (4)

Gustav stifled a yawn, extending himself in the rocking chair. His surroundings were lit by the setting sun - the furs, the beams and the shelves set afire with vermilion hue.
What a relaxing milieu, Gustav thought. He leaned forwards, the rocking chair following his motion. Straining his hands against the armrests, he rose up, then walked up to the door leaving the rocking chair dancing to its own tune.
He spent a small eternity observing the small holes and gaps in the door. By the worlds unsought… he thought. They should tar this thing before the winter comes... Not that I’d like to stay here for that long.
Opening the door, Gustav immediately felt the sun’
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 10: Chapter 3 (3)

Read the first chapter here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

Chapter 3: Minor squabble (3)

Brother Conrad attacked with a punch and Irina diverted it with a circular motion. The older monk managed to score a kick to her shin, but Irina pushed forward, striking Brother Conrad’s chest. The man withstood the blow and - with a roundhouse kick - forced Irina back.
The novices, Allen noticed, were forming a ring around the two. This is quickly becoming reminiscent of village brawls, he thought, except it's less drunken and more... intense.
”Stay back!” Brother Conrad shouted to everyone, dashing forward. He closed the gap between himself and Irina, punching.
Irina spun around the strike and used her momentum to strike towards Brother Conrad’s head. The monk moved in a sudd
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 9: Chapter 3 (2)

Read the first update here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

***


Chapter 3: Minor squabble (2)

”Control, Monk,” Allen heard someone speak. ”That’s the reason why palm strikes are often superior.”
Allen groaned. He opened his eyes, and saw two Irinas looming over him. They are multiplying... he thought, blinking. Soon, his vision went back to normal and his head started feeling mostly intact, aside from his bruised chin. Even holding a pillow to his face would hurt now.
”I don’t get it”, Allen said, pushing himself up with his shaking hands. ”I should’ve had you with that kick.”
Irina didn’t speak immediately. ”That is the difference between real combat experience and merely fooling around, Monk,” she said.
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 8: Chapter 3 (1)

Read the first chapter here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

Chapter 3: Minor squabble (1)

After Allen and Irina came across an elderly Brother - and after Irina had ordered the man to carry Allen’s things to the kitchens for safekeeping - the two proceeded to the courtyard. Outside the safety of the building’s marble walls, the freezing wind of the Northern Claw was free to assault the novice, piercing through his thick, brown robes.
Allen instinctively rubbed his arms. Oh, how he missed the kitchens; its heat and the secret afternoon snacks.
”Do not loiter, Monk.”
Allen blinked, then started to wade through the snow that reached up to his knees. Irina followed closely behind, uttering no sign of displeasure at the snowfall even with her relatively thin attire. Small specks of snow occasionally
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Literature
The Dogification Device
It is November the eighteenth. The scent of poured tea lingers in the air. I’m sitting in a chaotically arranged kitchen with a messy watercolour palette on the table, a few droplets of crimson splattered on the floor, and a war of colours on two pieces of paper. A regular day in a daddy’s life, then.
A roar approaches. And yes, some roars can be considered moving objects: this one is inhabiting a poor female's soul. The Roar enters the kitchen, walks up to me and looks like she wants to hit the teacup right out of my hand.
Talk about a violent individual.
Now, my wife on the other hand, she’s the very paragon of serenity. Whenever she paints, she’s appears like a goddess become flesh. Something I tend to forget whenever she tells me to take the trash out. But other than for that minor quibble, she is a very affable, lovable individual.
”Dingo? What is this mess?!”
She also loves giving people nicknames. I am ”Dingo”. Our kids are ”
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 7: Chapter 2 (3)

Read the first chapter here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

Chapter 2: Smithing trouble (3)

Allen moused down the marble hallway with a dread trepidation. It was late noon now, and Allen's duties were pressing upon him with a crushing weight. There were monastery records that needed to be copied and religious texts that needed to be transcribed over to a new piece of parchment, so as to avoid loss by corrosion.
He had skipped his duties for as long as possible. The monks in the kitchen had been rather glad for all the additional help that he had offered, and the room now had an uncommon sheen to its floor and utensils. However, that had all come to an end, when brother Conrad had stepped in and rebuked Allen for his lack of care for his duties. The novice was "clearly not deserving of his position" and, if Allen messe
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 6: Chapter 2 (2)

Read the first part here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

Chapter 2: Smithing trouble (2)

The place Gustav would investigate next soon lay before him: a low-built, flimsy-looking stone shack that - despite of being built from stone - looked liked wind could topple it. An earthen glow radiated from the crack underneath the door. Gustav grasped the door's wooden knob, feeling the shrill reverberations of the blacksmith's hammer assaulting his ears.
Gustav opened the door. His first impression was that of a controlled chaos - on the walls of one corner hung an array of blacksmith toolery and a indomitable heap of farm tools stood in another. Then there was the fiery forge, sitting smack in the middle of the room. A few additional glances around suggested that the smithy was in dire need of expansion.
And then there was the
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 5: Chapter 2 (1)

Read the first chapter here:The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

Chapter 2: Smithing trouble (1)

Gustav massaged his reddened fingers that had scraped against the washing vat one too many times.
I swear, he thought,the next time I see a water basin, I'll shoot myself through with an arrow. Nevermind that it's not physically doable.
He shook his head, looking up towards what amounted into a cloudy sky.
After a considerable breakfast, Reuel's mother had sicked upon Gustav a great many duties: dish washing, cloth washing and a relaxing bout of wood chopping, the last of which would've proved even more relaxing if not for the fact that Gustav's fingers were about to shed skin.
Still brusquely rubbing away, Gustav began to walk, soon passing by the closest wheat field. The temperature had spiked down
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 4: Chapter 1 (2)

Read the first part here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)
***
Chapter 1: In the middle of wherever (2)
Gustav's back was wet with moisture, and the smell of manure ailed his nostrils. The Dark Lord rubbed his eyelids, a small tinge of pain assaulting his shoulder as he supported his way up to a sitting position.
The skies were blue, and the smell of summery plants would sometimes override the smell of manure. Gustav saw wheat fields afar, and buildings. A village. How strange. The closest village to Castle Darkstead was five days' journey away, for the eternal darkness on Gustav's lands would severely hamper any farming activities. That is, unless the farmers got creative... but such creativity usually concealed magical activities that the Church was so fond of stamping out. Besides, the enchantme
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 3: Chapter 1 (1)

Read the first part here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)
***
Chapter 1: In the middle of wherever (1)
The monk looked incredulously at the lady lying prostrate before them.
It wasn't every day that your religious ceremonies were cut short by a woman plummeting through a glass ceiling. Accompanied by crystalline shards and the monks' cries of shock, not to mention a brightly flickering sword and armour, she had hit the ground so hard that her arrival must've left a literal impression. The monk, Allen, suspected her unconscious.
The Abbot was the first one to approach the maiden. He knelt beside the female knight and turned her on her back. He raised her gently by the back of her head, and for a short and extremel
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 2: Prologue (2)

Read the first update here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)
***

Prologue (2)

After having his beard shaved, Gustav set off through the Castle Darkstead's corridors. Barely any light illuminated his way, but it was all good - after all, Gustav wasn't in the habit of employing ghosts who loved to scare the living daylights out of anyone, human or not. Nor was he in the habit of employing the undead. Unpractical, those - their decomposing bodies emitted a certain odor that was repugnant to the sensibilities of human nose.
It's just like Aries to stay behind, Gustav thought, passing by a pair of lizardmen guarding the entrance to the eastern wing of the Castle. Both of them saluted - not lazily, but with a gumption belonging to an eager recruit, or perhaps a respectful veteran. It was kinda hard t
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Literature
The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

Story synopsis: Because of an unpredictable magical mishap, Gustav the Villainous finds himself transported into another world where there is no magical energy. Unbeknownst to Gustav, his rival was also transported into the same world and is going about her business, struggling to convince an ancient order of the importance of their own mission. Will she succeed? And will Gustav be content to become a farmer in a backwater village, having no reason worry now that his enemies are finally gone?
Prologue (1)

The flames danced rigorously to a nervous tune. Gustav zoned out on the flames, letting their restlessness echo his soul.
Why was he here, today? What had led him so far? Led him to the brink of destruction, to the point of no return?
He stood before his fireplace of obsidian make, observing the fire. His hands were clasped behind his back, his mien ruminant. Behind him waited his destiny. Three layers of attire arrayed o
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Eileen by Xanedis Eileen :iconxanedis:Xanedis 5 3 Gustav by Xanedis Gustav :iconxanedis:Xanedis 2 0

Favourites

The Second Earth - N3DS Mockup cover by DahliaWilder The Second Earth - N3DS Mockup cover :icondahliawilder:DahliaWilder 19 0 Necromancer (WIP) by Coyote63 Necromancer (WIP) :iconcoyote63:Coyote63 1 1 Teddy guard by PeKj Teddy guard :iconpekj:PeKj 2 3 Weiss (RWBY) by SkunkDJ Weiss (RWBY) :iconskunkdj:SkunkDJ 213 5 Blake (RWBY) by SkunkDJ Blake (RWBY) :iconskunkdj:SkunkDJ 202 4 Yang (RWBY) by SkunkDJ Yang (RWBY) :iconskunkdj:SkunkDJ 270 6 Ruby (RWBY) by SkunkDJ Ruby (RWBY) :iconskunkdj:SkunkDJ 336 7 [C] Shephard Romanov by Frappe7 [C] Shephard Romanov :iconfrappe7:Frappe7 153 37 Asuna Colour sketch part 3 by Sam-Chuu Asuna Colour sketch part 3 :iconsam-chuu:Sam-Chuu 13 6
Literature
Contest Entry: Ashley
Come one, come all,
And listen to this tale
Get comfortable, relax, and sit tight.
Yes, come and listen
Of how Madame Ashley
Came to share her inner light.
She’s a woman of wealth –
A rich lady with fame,
But longed for more out of life.
She lived long and well,
But something was missing.
And answers were nowhere in sight.
She inherited her wealth,
But still put it to good use.
She was still called generous and polite.
But no matter what she gifted,
Bought, sold, or funded
Her troubles still ceased to subside.
One day on a train
Returning to her stately home,
From a business trip at Silver Heights
Behind her, sat a child,
Both curious and kind,
Who would, inadvertently, change her life.
Madame Ashley was tired,
That day from her work
Life was always busy in the limelight.
But, what bothered her the most
Was though she did well,
Her heart still did not feel quite right.
Her face was weary,
And, to the curious child,
She must have been quite the sight
For then the child said,
:iconHopefulZero:HopefulZero
:iconhopefulzero:HopefulZero 8 4
Hope in music of Sadness by WhimsicalBlue Hope in music of Sadness :iconwhimsicalblue:WhimsicalBlue 306 191 Light Beyond The Screen by Diksharpner Light Beyond The Screen :icondiksharpner:Diksharpner 14 11 [CE] Shadow Dawn by Frappe7 [CE] Shadow Dawn :iconfrappe7:Frappe7 902 93 Super Mario Bros. Cake by cakecrumbs Super Mario Bros. Cake :iconcakecrumbs:cakecrumbs 5,676 865 Magical deers by Toivoshi Magical deers :icontoivoshi:Toivoshi 323 32
Journal
Cakes out of this World
Artisan Crafts
Hi everyone!
I'm UszatyArbuz and recently I surfed through the Culinary Arts category of Artisan Crafts.. I must admit I got hungry :waitingforfood:
I especially was amazed by so many beautiful and mouthwatering cakes.. Here are my favorite deviations depicting cakes from this category :la:
Super Mario Bros. Cake by cakecrumbsNaked Cake with Flowers by KirstysCakesThe Sun Is Coming Soon by GingerbreadFairyDusty's owl cake by Shoshannah84Zelda Wind Waker Cake by Kalan
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Xanedis
Novelist | Scriptwriter
Finland
Originally a fanfiction writer, I have now moved on to write original fiction and webcomic scripts(I'm still unpublished). Speaking of webcomics, have a few secret projects in the works. I'm still looking for an artist for the most important script, though.

My interests include(but are not limited to) manga, anime, webcomics, light novels, farming and music. Also some books.
Interests

Activity


Some might say that being a shut-in means becoming the trash of the society. My mind disagrees – my heart agrees.

A lusterless light flickers in my dark room. I’m sitting on my computer chair, my hands on the keyboard. My laptop is an antiquated piece of hardware made from whatever passed for glorious technology in the beginning of the millenium. It used to be a top-notch computer back in the day - big emphasis on used to.

I have a dozen tabs open on my browser: a few webcomics of the action variety, then sites that publish hardware reviews, and, to top it all off, a how-to-guide for poisoning a person - just for the heck of it.

You can probably see that I live a very varied life.

As I’m looking at the screen, I hear a sudden chime - a message has arrived on one of my chatting apps. I click and open Lichcord, a recent gaming app meant for easy conversing with friends. The messager is Daggerlord – one of my friends online.

Yo, you online?” he writes. His message is short, as smart and curt is the name of the game when chatting online.

Yeah,” I write, then rub my aching knee before continuing. ”Had a crappy day.”

Again? Maybe some League would lighten up your day?”

”No, I’d become a raging wreck.”

Man... How bad did you have it today, anyway?”

...Bad.” I stop writing for a moment. Honesty is all fine and dandy online – depending on whether your conversation partner is trustworthy enough, of course - but some memories take their emotional toll on you. It takes a lot out of me to write about that stuff.

In the end, I decide not to go that route. ”I don’t feel like talking about it today. Maybe some other day.”

Sure,” Daggerlord writes. ”I get you.”

...Yeah.”

...so, anyway... what are you up to at this time of the night?”

Just looking up reviews for some hardware. I need a new computer soon, so--”

You’re getting a new computer?! Dude, that’s fantastic!”

--so I need to look up the best parts.” I quickly read the message that Daggerlord sent me earlier, then continue, ”Yeah, it’s been coming a long while. I’ve saved up enough money to get one. Maybe I can finally start working on learning some animation.”

Aw yeah! Once you get your animation out there, I want my name in the credits list!”

Eff it. You did nothing to deserve it.”

Oh man - why so harsh? I’ve always been here for you.” He continues to add one of those insufferable smileys that make conversations look like clown fests. But I do crack a smile.

Fine,” I write. ”I’ll do it for you.”

Thanks man. Yo da best.”

Shaking my head as my smile fades, I look around my room. It would be best described as a beverage bottle, all sealed up and ready to overflow. My unwashed laundry lies in one corner, in a basket that my mom gave me so that my stuff wouldn’t be all over the floor. I used to have a veritable mountain of unwashed clothes, but then one of the shirts got mold on it, and that was the end of that practice.

Now that I think about it, I’d probably die if I had to live on my own. Sometimes. during my darker moments, I wonder if I should scam a guy into paying for my expenses. But then I remember that I don’t have the looks required for such conmanship. Blah.

I look back to the computer screen. Daggerlord has written some stuff on Lichcord. ”You know, that meetup we talked about? The League thing? Are you planning on showing up?”

I blink. ”Uh... I think I might skip it...”

Dude, it’s in your home town – the hell you’re skipping it!”

Dee, I just… I’m really bad at real life stuff. You know that.”

Yeah, I know, but I would be there. And it’s not like you’re hiding something – like that you’re secretly a girl, yeah?”

...Yeah, about that--”

There’s a pause on Daggerlord’s end. ”...Eff me! Seriously?”

Gotcha!” I quickly write. ”You really believed me, didn’t you?”

Damn. Seriously, man... you gave me a heart attack.”

Ha!”

My poor, poor heart… If I suddenly collapse, you’re paying the ambulance bills, EinsZwei.”

Right, right,” I write, then exhaling from relief. I lean back on my computer chair.

I really can’t go to that meetup now - Dee would realize that I’ve been lying to him about my gender and would – effectively- kill me. Or, at least, that was a distinct possibility. I’d rather not ruin a perfectly serviceable relationship.

I write my last message to Dee – something along the lines of ”well, I gotta go - talk to you tomorrow”. I put my hands on the laptop’s lid, mentally preparing to go to bed.

Before I manage to close the lid, however, I see Dee write: ”I’ll be at the meetup, so I can’t talk tomorrow. Talk to you later.”

Sighing, I push down the laptop’s lid and then collapse on my mattress. I lay still for a while, my mind delightfully empty and solemn.

Then - like a many-legged monster - today’s events at school slither into my mind, clear as day. The pushing, the shoving, my aching knee that somebody had decided to kick just for fun when I was lying on the ground. I quickly close my eyes, gripping my blanket.

Dammit... At least I’ll be able to talk to Dee again day after tomorrow.

Light Beyond the Screen (Literature)
This is my writing entry to Awareness of the Arts: Hidden Light contest(Awareness of the Arts)

My artist pair was Diksharpner, and you can check out her art entry here.

Honestly, I was lucky to have been able to work with her, as she is immensely talented. This was a fun collaboration!
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Gustav Fire Cover 2 by Xanedis

Read the first update here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)

***

Chapter 3: Minor squabble (4)

Gustav stifled a yawn, extending himself in the rocking chair. His surroundings were lit by the setting sun - the furs, the beams and the shelves set afire with vermilion hue.

What a relaxing milieu, Gustav thought. He leaned forwards, the rocking chair following his motion. Straining his hands against the armrests, he rose up, then walked up to the door leaving the rocking chair dancing to its own tune.

He spent a small eternity observing the small holes and gaps in the door. By the worlds unsought… he thought. They should tar this thing before the winter comes... Not that I’d like to stay here for that long.

Opening the door, Gustav immediately felt the sun’s warmth caressing his face. He breathed deep, smelling the fresh, chill air – and the manure. He observed the small yard, and found the birch fence something of an eyesore.

Gustav felt the stubble on his chin, then looked down the road leading towards the village. A virile-looking senior was approaching, waving to Gustav from the distance.

Yet another new acquaintance, Gustav thought. His mind returned back to the first day when he first noticed Reuel stalking him. I have enough trouble on my plate as is.

Shaking his head at his misfortune, Gustav rubbed his eyelids. Then he heard a surprisingly loud voice echoing over the yard. ”Hail, traveler! Yer Mara’s guest, right?”

Gustav ruffled his hair. ”Yes, that is me,” he said in a quiet monotone, so that the approaching man wouldn’t hear it.

The lively senior picked up his pace. Once he was closer, Gustav could see that the older man was about half a feet shorter than he, his straight posture reminding Gustav of those in the positions of authority.

The older man stopped before Gustav, leaning on his knees with what seemed like a make-believe weakness. ”Say, I owe ye an apology,” he said. ”I’m not actually here for ye, stranger. Have ye seen Eileen around…?”

”What makes you think she’d be here?”

”Ah, I heard the lass was supposed to stop by in the evenin' - share some fresh courgette from that patch of ’ers, hm?”

”Well, she isn’t around,” Gustav said, shrugging. ”I could pass on a message if you'd like--”

”Sure, sure.” The older man ruffled his silver hair. ”Just tell ’er that Eli had something on his mind. She’ll come and ask.”

”Alright.”

”Thank you, thank you.” The man offered Gustav a toothed grin. ”And then, there's ye. We’ll will talk later, ye and I. Always nice to have guests, even if they come at a bad time.”

Gustav nodded. ”I did hear something about that.”

The man nodded twice. ”Aye. It is a sad time for our village. Poor Moira...”

Gustav felt the familiar twinge of morbid curiosity. ”How did she pass away?" he asked. "Moira’s daughter, I mean.”

The man was quiet for a moment. ”Animals, from what I hear.”

Gustav raised an eyebrow.

”Rita went missing half a moon back, and we couldn't find ’er.” The man shook his head, turning to look into the horizon. ”When Moira did... Rita was already a corpse. Raking gaps across her body.”

”A bear, perhaps?”

”Or wolves.” The old man shrugged, his face pained. ”Whatever it was, it got ’er good.”

”Did this Rita fight with her mother before she--”

The man turned around and stabbed Gustav’s chest with his long finger. ”Now listen here, youngling,” he said. ”I have been the Elder for longer than yer had hair behind yer ears. I know what to do in these situations - what questions to ask, what to watch out for...”

”And?”

”Nothing.” The man raised his hands towards the sky in a frustrated effort. ”Rita loved ’er mother. Took care of ’er infirmities after the man in the house passed away.” The old man offered a glance towards the skies. ”Sure, that brat was a troublemaker of the worst lot, but Anodyne knows that she always made sure ’er mother wouldn’t have to suffer. She wouldn’t have just up and left.”

”I see.”

The old man stepped back, looking up at Gustav. ”So, traveller... You came at a bad time.”

Turning away and walking in forlorn pain of one that had witnessed many deaths, the old man slowly disappeared into the distance. As Gustav watched the old man walk away, he couldn’t help but wonder if the villagers would - eventually - consider him yet another aspect of these ”bad times” that they were experiencing.

The Essence of Villainy, Update 11: Chapter 3 (4)
I recommend using +watch if you want updates when the newest chapters come online.

I hope you guys are as excited as I am for the continuation. I am putting finishing touches on the next chapter's first part, but I have many important projects going on the side, PLUS a deviantart competition, so it might get delayed somewhat. Nonetheless, I believe you will find it as interesting as these, and maybe we can get an even deeper look into the world of The Essence of Villainy.

I will also note in my chapter notes once I complete any one of the side projects(they're webcomic collaborations, I'm REALLY stoked for them to come out - won't be anytime soon, though). I'll even post links to them when the time is right.

Thank you people so much for reading these chapters. I noticed a big influx some days back. Thanks for choosing to check out my story, and I hope you keep following the story to see what happens next.
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Hello folks. I'm Xanedis, and I'm a writer. I'm looking for an artist who'd want to collaborate on a short webcomic story. We'd come up with the story together(don't worry, I'm good at putting together random ideas as I'm a writer), and then I'd write it and you'd draw it.

Genres I can write: Fantasy, romance(rare, but I've done it before), action, mystery, slice of life(occasionally). I prefer stories with multiple genres mixed in together.

Genres I won't write: Horror, smut - anything NSFW.

And that's pretty much it. Please PM me or put a message on the comments section if you're interested.

Thank you for your time. 

PS: Here's some references to my writing: tapas.io/series/The-Essence-of… (my main fantasy story) and tapas.io/series/The-Dogificati… (a contemporary Sci-fi comedy)
Gustav Fire Cover 2 by Xanedis

Read the first chapter here: The Essence of Villainy, Update 1: Prologue (1)


Chapter 3: Minor squabble (3)

Brother Conrad attacked with a punch and Irina diverted it with a circular motion. The older monk managed to score a kick to her shin, but Irina pushed forward, striking Brother Conrad’s chest. The man withstood the blow and - with a roundhouse kick - forced Irina back.

The novices, Allen noticed, were forming a ring around the two. This is quickly becoming reminiscent of village brawls, he thought, except it's less drunken and more... intense.

”Stay back!” Brother Conrad shouted to everyone, dashing forward. He closed the gap between himself and Irina, punching.

Irina spun around the strike and used her momentum to strike towards Brother Conrad’s head. The monk moved in a sudden motion, his hand swiping away Irina’s blow. He brought his arm down like a whip and - palms side-by-side - struck directly at Irina’s unguarded chest.

The woman practically flew a few feet before landing in the snow.

Allen winced from pain. That must’ve hit her solar plexus, he thought.

Brother Conrad stood frozen in his stance, twin palms outwardly extended. White vapour emanated from his mouth.

Irina coughed. ”I see... there’re things you don’t teach to the novices,” she said. With what seemed like an accustomed quickness, she rose up to her feet, her upper body swaying.

Brother Conrad brought his legs closer together and raised up his arms defensively before his chin.

Grasping her chest, Irina continued to stare at Brother Conrad. Then, with a sudden change in tone, she said, ”Wait. No. That style - you used it by reflex.”

Brother Conrad remained silent.

Irina shook her head. ”Fool me, thinking that I was the only one with some measure of skill.” Sighing, she slid her front foot forward and snapped her arms back into her circular fighting stance. ”Still, I won’t let you land another blow like the one from before.”

Irina launched herself into motion, closing the gap between her and Conrad in mere moment. Irina’s palm extended upward, and Conrad deflected her attack with his hand. The man rammed her with his shoulder and Irina was pushed back. Brother Conrad, capitalizing on her stagger, kicked sideways towards Irina’s unguarded ribs.

Irina took the hard blow to the side. Pain flashed on her face. Twisting around, and using her arm, she trapped Conrad’s leg against her side. Then she brought around her free hand, swinging it towards the taut limb like a sledgehammer.

”I give!” Brother Conrad shouted.

Irina’s blow stopped inches from the monk’s leg. She immediately dropped the hold, stepping back. A collective sigh escaped from the mouths of the novices. Allen, too, felt like he could give up the ghost, now - not in the figurative sense, of course.

”Now, if you would answer my questions...” Irina said, brushing off flecks of snow from her white garments. ”There are a some things I would very much like to know.”

Brother Conrad’s cheeks were turning redder by the minute, his fists clenching.

Irina raised her eyes. ”Your true style is not what you teach to these people,” she said to Brother Conrad. ”And from the way you quickly shifted back to your original stance, I think that you were trying to hide it. I don’t think you were supposed to show it to the novices - perhaps not to anyone.”

Brother Conrad closed his eyes.

”Silence is acknowledgement,” Irina said. ”Tell me - is your style original to Bastion?”

The Prior opened his eyes, sighing. ”...No.”

”...Were you taught by the old woman?”

”What old woman?” Brother Conrad asked, rolling his eyes. ”Our art was taught to us by the Maiden of Light.”

”...This Anodyne of yours?”

”Correct.”

”I see.” Irina rubbed her eyelids, suddenly appearing very tired. ”You should know: if they’re not taught the style right from the beginning of their training, your novices will adopt bad habits that will get them killed on the battlefield.”

Brother Conrad’s face was as blank as an unengraved gravestone.

Irina shook her head. ”But then again, you lot don’t intend to embark on the battlefield, do you?" Her expression flared as she met Brother Conrad's eyes. "Remember, foolish monk - by choosing not to teach the style, you have disgraced your brotherhood's obligation to be prepared for the enemy, whoever they might be. And your Maiden would agree with me. I’m sure of it.”

Irina turned unceremoniously around and started walking up the path. Allen followed her.

...Up until a heavy hand landed on his shoulder. ”And where do you think you are going, novice?”

Allen turned to see Brother Conrad’s most uninviting face. ”Uh…” he managed, ”I have duties-?”

The head monk looked down at him, his arms imposingly crossed. ”Since you were intending to skip practice again, you’ll spar with me.”

Feeling a strong negative premonition, Allen stepped back. ”I would very much like to spar with the others instead, if that’s possible-”

”The others are quite occupied," Brother Conrad said, glancing at the other novices. "Isn’t that right?

The novices quickly resumed their business of sparring the living daylights out of each other. Meanwhile, Allen was stuck staring at his hulking sparring partner.

As the assault of pain started, Allen wished that Irina had bothered to drag him out with her - even if it had meant having to withstand her knowing eyes for a little while longer.

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Sam-Chuu Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2018  New Deviant  Digital Artist
Thanks for both fave and watch AND feedback!!Tight Hug 
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Xanedis Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2018
Eh, I figured it was the best way to access the content that I want. :D
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Sam-Chuu Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2018  New Deviant  Digital Artist
XD lol
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WhimsicalBlue Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for the fave, much appreciated:wave:
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Xanedis Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018
Heh, it was worth it. :D
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WhimsicalBlue Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I appreciate it^^
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UszatyArbuz Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2018   Digital Artist
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Xanedis Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2018
*thumbs up*
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ChaosHog Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for the favorite! I really appreciate it. <3
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Xanedis Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
Oh, it was a picture that VERY MUCH deserved it. :P You're welcome!
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