Category Archives

13 Articles

Delvers LLC 3, Chapter 3

Posted by Blaise on
0 778
Categories

Okay all!  Two big announcements.

One, this is the third and last chapter of book 3 I will be posting on my site.  When book 3 comes out, I will be forced to remove all my free chapters from the website.  I really apologize for this, but I don’t see any other choice.

/That said/  If you want to follow along with the story, make sure you check out my Patreon!

Also, there is a HUGE LitRPG give away being hosted by Jason Cipriano!  Check it out here:  The Give Away

Apologies for the editing in these first few chapters.  I was getting back into the swing of things when I wrote them.  Otherwise, enjoy!  🙂


previous chapter

Patreon

What it Dhu

 

The two orbs began to speak, but were interrupted again by the arrival of two more newcomers.  One moment they were there, the next, Henry felt a pulling, a tugging, and suddenly a large, shaggy dog made of metal was standing next to him.  Aodh’s shoulder was now occupied by a bright yellow, glowing songbird.  Tony stared at it in wonder.

The two orbs goggled, and Gellab asked, “How did they get here?  This shouldn’t be possible.  We are inbetween time and in a mind space!”

The dog at Henry’s side hissed a chuckle.  “We are invited.  We have a connection now with the hosts, orb-controller.  Check.”  Henry felt the talking dog’s voice was oddly familiar.

Mr. Neighborhood, Henry’s orb dropped his smile for a moment while his eyes looked off into the distance.  When his focus came back, he was obviously flustered.  “Henry, you have a new skill, Orb Communication (Rank X, 5 points).  It has no rank, and has a point cost that you never paid for.  This should not be possible, that skill doesn’t even exist.  This is all highly irregular, neighbor.”

The dog chuckled again.  “Something freely given is not needed to buy.”  With a start, Henry realized what he found familiar about the dog.  Underlying the strange, cartoony voice, he could hear the buzz, the chorus of the whispers he’d encountered in the void-place, the ones he’d trusted.  Despite the overwhelming weirdness of the entire situation, he felt himself relaxing.

“How did you learn to talk?” demanded Gellab.  “Plus, you shouldn’t be here.”

The dog stood on its hind legs, and the glowing bird on Aodh’s shoulder fluttered its wings, tittering.  “Connection!” the dog barked in triumph.  “Accepted by the host!  Wanted!”  It fell back onto all four paws again.

“Wait a moment,” Mr. Neighborhood implored.  “Everyone is very special, but where did they ever make contact with you?  Above where, when did they make contact with you?  There have been flickers, but we are between moments in time right now.  We are also in Aodh’s land of make believe.”

Henry mentally groaned at his orb’s obnoxious, half assed imitation of his childhood hero.

“They came Home, to the Home Place!” the dog yipped, tail wagging.  “The firsts!  They are firsts of hosts!”

“No, they could not have survived in your world,” argued Gellab.  The winged woman shook her head.  “If they went there, if you pulled them there, they would have died.”

“Already dying.  We not want,” the dog said solemnly.  “All attached Dhu help.  We make a chance.  Other Dhu make things hard,” said the dog, nodding at the shadow thing that was still standing behind them.  With a start, Henry realized it’d gotten bigger and closer.

Henry knew he could sometimes be a little slow on the update, but his enhanced mental processes helped him understand what was going on.  “You’re my Dhu,” he said, pointing at the dog.  “You’re Tony’s Dhu,” he said, pointing at the bird on Tony’s shoulder.  “And that thing is probably whatever that crazy witch bitch did before me and Tony got hit with the laser thing.”  Henry pointed at the roiling shadow creature.

“In general, this is right.”  Henry’s orb nodded.

“Okay, fine, but that doesn’t explain what the laser thing was, why we’re here talking to you assholes, or whether we’re dead.  I’m tired of interruptions and other fucking nonsense.  Talk.”  Henry crossed his arms.

Mr Neighborhood responded, “The weapon that hit you was of ancient design.  It used to be lab equipment, but has repurposed as an offensive device.  It sends complex organisms to the Dhu World, a place that is like a different dimension.  Everything dies there.  Everything,” the orb amended, “until you.  You must be very special, neighbor.  It seems highly unlikely, but my programming makes me objective, and the Dhu do not lie.  It is one of their only saving graces.  Telling a lie is bad.

“On the other hand, it seems odd that Aodh’s orb and I would suspend time, bringing you both here to plan our next move, but then your Dhu took you to the Dhu World anyway.  It was hard enough stopping time, saving your body from the death magic attacking it, and preventing you both from being destroyed in the Dhu world.  The attack spell was fighting us the whole time.”

Henry glanced back at the shadow thing, which was even closer now.  “So that is gonna kill me, huh?”

The Dhu dog shook its metal head, “After you die Henry-host it kills Aodh-otherhost.  Must save.  Must fight!”  The dog showed its teeth in a friendly snarl.

Henry decided to name the dog.  He liked dogs.  “Okay Spike, what do I do?”

The dog shook its head.  “It is a thing of us.  Of Dhu.  You know what to do.”

Henry thought back to his time in the Dhu world and realized he might understand.  “I gotcha,” he acknowledged.

He began taking a step towards the shadow creature when both orbs cried, “No!”  The world began turning grey and Henry’s thoughts seemed to slow.  He could feel his mind dulling again, his thoughts slipping away.  Fuck this, he mentally snarled.  Henry uncoiled his mind the way he had in the Dhu Word and lashed out.  It hurt, but when his mind touched the encroaching grey, it shattered and the tableau returned to how it had been before.

“What is going on, please?” asked Henry’s orb.  The orb’s impersonated form was still polite and refined, but his eyes were narrowed.

Spike, the Dhu dog hissed a laugh.  “Check your skills, orb-controller!”

Mr. Neighborhood pursed his lips.  “Another new skill?  Mind Whip (Rank 1, X points)?  This skill doesn’t even have a point cost, and Henry got it free again!  How are the Dhu even here?  This makes no sense.”

“Henry-host bond with new Dhu, baby Dhu.”  The metal Dhu dog said seriously, almost reverently.

“How could he even access them?” asked the winged orb in the chainmail bikini.  “Blank Dhu are in stasis until we activate them.”

“We help, we save,” replied Spike.

“This is highly irregular.  We need to return you Dhu to where you’re supposed to be.  I still need to get to the bottom of all this later, but you are not supposed to be out here,” said Gellab.  She raised a hand and the grey started to descend again.  And once again, Henry uncoiled his mind and slapped the descending dullness away.  This time it was harder, though.  It felt like getting stung by a bee in the brain.  He winced.

“No, stops orb-controller!” pleaded Spike.  “No other way for Henry-host.  He know how to do what is how.  Stop being so boss!”  The strange metal creature stamped its front paws into the ground.  “Help you we do, talk in host world, break rules.”

The orbs seemed startled.  A strange look passed between them and the manifested Dhu.  Henry ignored them.  He had a job to do.  It was obvious at this point that his orb was clueless and he was going to die if he just stood around with his thumb up his spiritual ass.  What’s more, it sounded like Tony would die too after he did.

Henry would not allow that, not without a fight.

He warily took a half step to close a bit of the distance with the shadow creature while all the Dhu and orbs were giving each other cloak and dagger looks.  The disturbing, unnatural thing was only a few paces away now.  It looked vaguely humanoid, but made of dripping tar, screaming faces, and bubbling darkness.

Henry gingerly reached out with his mind.  The closer he stretched towards the shadow thing, the colder he felt inside.  Then he made contact.

Darkness.

The world went sideways.

His soul was upside down.

Flash. His fingers clawed out his eyes, trailing viscera down his face.

Flash. He sat in a field with a headless rabbit on his lap.

Flash. He crawled into the open carcass of a large animal.

Flash. He floated in a vat of blood.

Flash. He swallowed glass.

Flash. He sat on a kitten, its bones breaking under his weight.

Flash. He slowly inserted a needle into his own throat, the point deftly threading through muscle.

Henry pushed back hard.  It felt like his soul was drowning in garbage quicksand.  He was under attack, so he reacted how he always did while being attacked.  He fought back.

Flash. He held a human heart in his hand, a chunk missing and a chunk in his mouth.

Henry rallied, defending and counter attacking.  He couldn’t think normally, but fought anyway, creating a return image of a childhood memory.  He held a baby bird in his hand, a helpless animal that his elementary school class had saved and nursed back to health.

Flash. He existed in a world of pain, pulling ropy trails of intestines out of his own stomach.

Henry returned an image of him holding his sister’s hand during the birth of his nephew, being there for her despite their mutual dislike of each other.  She was family, and she had needed support.  Her boyfriend had left her, but Henry refused to leave his sister to give birth all alone.

Flash.  He threw an infant off the top of a tall building, watching it all the way down.

Henry was starting to get angry.  He still couldn’t properly form thoughts, but he pushed back even harder with the sound of the first song he could actually remember his mother singing to him.

Flash.  He was pouring acid on emaciated, naked people, their weak voices pleading with him, writhing in a pit before their mouths and eyes were filled with chemicals.

Henry was definitely angry now.  His counterattack was the memory of his first kiss, exchanged behind the bleachers in high school with Darlene Fletcher.

The back and forth seemed to continue for an eternity.  Henry was bombarded with increasingly disturbing images, eventually including sounds, smells, and even other sensations.  He fought back with increasingly important moments from his life, moments when he was happy to be alive or proud of he was, of who he’d become.  He dredged up moments that made him Henry Sato and flung them at his adversary.  The attacks strove to destroy him, so Henry kept rebuilding himself, strengthening himself through memories, weakening his attacker with love and honor.

He could feel that whatever it was, it was getting weaker.

Finally, Henry’s world of pain, torment, and exhaustion cleared.  He was hovering in the sky with a confused looking Aodh, both orbs, and the two Dhu animals.  The orbs were looking at him strangely, but the Dhu didn’t react at all other than Spike giving a doggy grin, tongue lolling out.

Henry’s orb cleared his throat, and said, “Alrighty neighbor, you aren’t out of the woods yet, but you have a chance to live now.  I’m surprised but very, very happy.  Aodh will be safe now.  However, we didn’t have many options of where to guide your bodies.  Without the Dhu actively helping, you might have even ended up in an ocean.  That would be bad.”

The tall man with the tie and sweater vest waved, and their entire group began floating to the ground.  Henry noticed that time seemed to be standing still, evidenced by a leaf on the wind standing still.  It was just as well, because he spied a few monsters prowling around the forest they were in.  He knew he should have an opinion about everything that was going on, but he was just too exhausted.

He felt like he might have literally just gotten into a boxing match with hell.  Either way, he wouldn’t do it again.  Not for anyone or anything, at least not willingly.  If he lived, his nightmares were going to have nightmares for the rest of his life.  The things Henry had seen would make Freddy piss himself.

Mr. Neighborhood guided the entire group into a cave, the opening set into a cliff before a little clearing.  At the rear of the cave, Henry noticed his body next to Tony’s lying on the ground.  His body’s cheeks looked sunken, his skin an unhealthy pallor.  Even in the frozen moment, he could tell that his physical body was sweating terribly, his eyes scrunched in unconscious pain.

Great, he thought.  He forced himself to notice everything, forced himself to think.

“We cannot keep time frozen much longer,” said Mr. Neighborhood.  “As it is, we are not actually doing anything other than allowing your consciousness to communicate with us between moments.  However, if we maintain this any longer, your brains and spirits will break from the strain.  You actually both should be dead many times over.  I am not aware of anything like this ever happening before.”

The golden bird on Aodh’s shoulder somehow looked extremely smug.

“We will make a log,” Gellab said.  “We must note all the circumstances.  Henry’s extra, unassigned Dhu, you and I working together, the Dhu working together, the two men being sent to the Dhu World, the inclusion of death magic that was actually composed of malevolent Dhu, the fact your host is Terran…”

“Yes, of course,” responded Henry’s orb.  “Henry, do you need anything else?  I would prefer you continue not to die since the my existence will end too, but based on the monsters we saw outside, our odds don’t look good.  They might have smelled your physical bodies.

“You will not be able to protect yourself for quite a while.  I do not know what will happen with you, your sickness, or the death Dhu that are still attacking you.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not dead yet,” growled Henry.  He snapped, “Tony!  Stop gawking and look alive!  You have a job to do, kid.  I’m going to tell you exactly what to do right now before we get thrown back into our own bodies!”

Aodh nodded, wide eyed, terrified.  The boy obviously had no clue what was going on, but despite his obvious terror, his gaze met Henry’s and he listened intently.  Tony’s a good kid, Henry thought with some pride.  I hope we get out of this so I can tell him so in the flesh.

Delvers LLC 3, Chapter 2

Posted by Blaise on
0 701
Categories

Okay all!  Two big announcements.

One, this is the second of 3 chapters from book 3 I will be posting on my site.  When book 3 comes out, I will be forced to remove all my free chapters from the website.  I really apologize for this, but I don’t see any other choice.

/That said/  If you want to follow along with the story, make sure you check out my Patreon!

Also, there is a HUGE LitRPG give away being hosted by Jason Cipriano!  Check it out here:  The Give Away

Apologies for the editing in these first few chapters.  I was getting back into the swing of things when I wrote them.  Otherwise, enjoy!  🙂

 


previous chapter

next chapter

 

Deadlights

The winged woman pursed her lips and placed her hands on her hips.  The motion did interesting things to her chainmail covered…assets.  Henry felt like his thoughts were still kind of slow.  How in the world was he being distracted by tits while existing in such a weird situation?  Seriously, what was happening?  His thoughts actually even felt a little different than usual.  “Where are we?” he asked.

Henry’s orb answered, “This is a memory of Aodh’s, and part of his mind space.  Orb controllers like myself generally don’t work together like this, but the situation is…highly irregular.”  The tall man seemed apologetic.

“You know this place?” Henry asked Tony.

Aodh thought for a moment, his expression confused.  “Actually, yeah.  I used to come here when  I was a kid to play adventurer, usually when I was hiding from Vitaliya.  Who are these people?”  The young man pointed at the two strange people.

Henry sighed.  “The tall man is how my orb appears when it needs to talk to me.  I’m assuming the woman is your orb.”

“Just so!” replied the woman.  “I can not interact as well as this one,” she said gesturing at the other orb.  “Most of my resources are focused on my process.”

“Wait, you’re my orb?  Why do you look like…” Aodh frowned before pointing.  “You’re Gellab Gettafs Smith, the legendary adventurer!  Wait, you look exactly how I imagined you when I read all those old books!”

“Call me Gelly, sweetie.” The woman smiled.

“Well, that explains the bullshit armor.  Puberty imagination,” muttered Henry.

“What?” The young man turned to the beautiful winged woman again and asked, “What is going on?  Can you help us out, madam?  It’s an honor to meet a famous Adom adventurer like you.”

“You’re talking to your imagination, kid,” growled Henry.  “These things are just our orbs, but I bet we can get some answers out of them.  But before we figure out what the fuck is going on or what the fuck this is,” he snapped, pointing at the black streamers coming off his back, “let’s ask something simple.  You, Tony’s orb, what the hell does the kid’s orb actually do?”

The female orb, Gelly, replied, “Oh, so short tempered!”  She asked the other orb, “How is he still alive?  With that personality, he should definitely be dead by now.”  The tall, male orb shrugged and the scantily clad woman frowned at Henry.  “I’m a theoretical probability orb, one of the most rare orbs ever created.  I am the latest version.”

“What does that mean?” asked Aodh.  “I’ve tried everything, but I can’t do any magic or anything else.”

“My function is actually quite complex,” said the blue skinned woman.  “I take the safety and wishes of my host into account, and based on the strength of his feelings, I allocate power towards nudging possibilities or mutable events.  I make an advantageous outcome more probable.”

“Wait, wha–” began Aodh.

Henry held a hand up.  “She’s a fucking luck orb,” he said.  “That makes no sense, though!  Tony hasn’t been lucky!  I mean, he’s here with me, whatever this is.  I sort of remember some danger.  The memories are slowly coming back but they’re still fuzzy.”

“Ah, that is not true, Aodh is not unlucky,” the woman answered.  “He found a high quality bronze dagger lying in the dirt when he was wishing for an attractive weapon like everyone else had.”  Aodh blushed.  The woman continued, “He has managed to keep distance from his cousin, and he also managed to avoid three near-certain brushes with death during your battle before arriving here.”

“Wait, I would have died without your help?” asked Aodh, his voice breaking.

“Undoubtably.  Through my assistance, you are already incredibly powerful, even at your low rank.”  The woman smiled.  “I was happy to help.”

“Okay, that’s all well and good but–”  Henry’s words were cut off suddenly when the entire world transitioned to night.  His vision and thought processes felt interrupted, scrambled as the the darkness surrounding him got deeper.

For a time, he just existed.  None of his senses worked.  His thoughts moved differently too. The Asian man’s mind felt like it was pushed up against a rough wall.  There was pressure forcing him forward, but he had nowhere to go.  It hurt, but the pain wasn’t physical.  Even if his mind had been working correctly, he would have been hard pressed to describe the feeling.

The core of the sensation was losing himself.  He felt like he was dying.  Actually, worse than dying.  It felt like something deep inside of him, his very being was being worn away.  It felt like he was losing his soul.

Henry’s mind moved glacially slow, but he focused every bit of his will on a single thought: Fuck this.

The stubborn man pushed forward, pounding against the obstacle before him.  It hurt, it hurt terribly.  It felt like the very fabric of his existence was being ripped to shreds, and he was desperately trying to find a gap to escape.  He didn’t stop, didn’t give in.

Eventually, he found something, something different.  He felt a small breach in the barrier holding him back, a weakness.  Henry pushed with everything he had, all his memories, his personality, his thoughts, and desires.  He pushed with every bit of himself that he could, and without warning, the overwhelming darkness around him shattered, motes of light exploding outwards, disappearing into the distance.

He was floating in space, the dark place he had been before he transitioned to Tony’s old memory.  Pinpricks of light slowly moved in random patterns.  Flashes of memories came and went.  An enormous pressure settled on Henry’s spirit, but with the same dogged determination he had grasped onto before, he pushed back.

He kept pushing until the pressure abated, and he suddenly felt a deep sense of peace that tickled parts of his mind, parts of himself that he’d never even felt before.  He tried to close his eyes, but realized he couldn’t.  He wasn’t seeing with his eyes.  The thought as bizarre, but the feeling of the strange place made the fact unimportant.

Henry felt a faint presence and realized it was Tony.  The farm boy turned adventurer was failing, his life ebbing away.  Henry thought, Can’t let that happen.  He reached for the young man, stretching the new part of himself he had never felt before.  The sensation was like fumbling around the dark for something small, but eventually, he made contact with Tony.

As soon as his will touched the Ludan teen, Tony grasped the lifeline of Henry’s consciousness and began pulling himself out of the pressure he’d been in.  The closer he got to Henry, the stronger his life force felt.  Eventually, after what seemed to take ages, after incredibly effort felt through their connection, Aodh reached Henry’s position.

He couldn’t see anything, the view of the deep darkness, moving lights, and distant flashes of color remained unchanged.  However, Henry could feel Tony’s existence.  He also heard the boy’s Irish accented voice in his head whispering, “What is this?”

Henry tried to speak, but nothing happened.  It was like his mind worked, but the body it was usually connected to was out for vacation.  He mentally narrowed his eyes, and tried thinking his question.  He projected, “Are you okay, Tony?” in the general “direction” he thought the kid was.

Ouch, don’t yell so loud!” Tony complained.  “What is going on?  Where did those orbs go?”

Henry focused on thinking a little softer.  It was weird for him.  Actually, everything about the situation was weird, even for someone who’d spent a few months on Ludus.  “I don’t know.  Those lights in the distance seem to be getting closer, though.”

Yeah.

Henry paused for a moment.  The fog over his mind from before was completely gone.  He could remember everything.  In fact, his memory actually felt much sharper than usual.  His mind seemed to be moving faster than it usually did, too.  It felt like his thoughts didn’t have any resistance.

He warily watched the lights approaching and pushed at Tony.  “Hey, what was that!” the boy mentally shouted at Henry.

Nothing, probably your imagination.  I can remember everything.  Can you?

Yes,” Aodh said mentally, his “voice” somber.  “Are we dead?

I don’t think so,” replied Henry.  “This isn’t oblivion, it’s not what I thought hell would be like, and it damn sure isn’t paradise.  I see no golden gates, Valhalla, dozens of virgins, nothing.”

Virgins?” Tony asked, his mental voice curious.

Yeah, of course you’d be asking that.  I saw that blue skinned hottie earlier.  You have a very active imagination, kid.”

Uh, it made sense at the time.”  Aodh sounded embarrassed.

Whatever.  She’s hot and seems nice.  There are worse fantasies young dudes can have.  The lights are almost here, look sharp.”

The lights approached slowly, spinning and casting brighter flashes at each other.  At first, Henry had thought they were all moving together, but he noticed that a large group seemed to be blocking something. Something dark.

As the lights got closer, Henry began to hear whispers around the edges of his mind.  He tentatively thought a question at Aodh, “Can you hear that?

Sort of,” said Tony, sounding scared.  “It’s like hearing a bunch of people whispering in the next room.  Like they’re facing away from me.”

Henry paused.  He said, “I think they’re whispering at me.”  The lights grew nearer, and the whispering didn’t get any louder, but seemed more focused.

When the lights were even closer, Henry began to hear individual voices speaking in concert.  Well, a few groups of them.  They weren’t saying anything in any language he understood, but he could grasp the meaning all the same.

One group was warm, welcoming.  This group’s colors were hard, sharp.  Another group was curious, determined.  This group’s colors were soft and whimsical.  The last, a group he couldn’t see, was dark, insidious.  Its collective voice made him feel a chill in his soul, and it seemed the other lights were pushing it back.

What the hell? Henry thought.  One time when he’d gotten out of the Army and just started taking some college classes, Henry had gotten really, really drunk at a party and a pretty girl had convinced him to drop acid.  Measuring that experience against the one he found himself in was was like comparing a candle to the sun.

When the lights stopped moving, they began to orbit around Tony and himself.  Henry focused on the voices.  Despite the strangeness of the entire situation, the first two groups of lights didn’t scare him.  They somehow felt familiar.  Even the third, dark group he couldn’t see didn’t particularly terrify him.  It almost felt like a snake, a viper.  It was dangerous, but the harm it could cause didn’t feel personal.

Eventually, Henry felt his mind shift, his thoughts slightly turning to better understand the voices.  The dark group’s whispers didn’t make a lot of sense.  Death, destruction, rot, it just repeated some of the same ideas over and over.

The second group, the light colored, curious group was mumbling offers of friendship, ideas of solidarity.  Henry heard, “Friend?  Friend?  Friend?” repeated under everything else the group said, almost like a baseline.

The first group he’d heard, the rigid group, was the most interesting and the most comforting.  Companion. Protection. Power.  Honor.  Henry felt his spirit, the very stuff that made up who ne was in this place resonating with it.  The voices whispered, Let us help.

Henry mentally shrugged and reached out to the jagged, hard lights.  His mind almost felt like it uncoiled and tentatively extended the same way he’d touched Aodh.  When he made contact with the lights, he felt like he’d stuck his finger in a light socket.  Pain racked his being and his entire existence became agony.  Instead of nerve endings lighting up, in this strange place, he felt his memories flashing, the intensity trying to unravel his mind.

With the new connection, he heard the whispers, now voices, much more clearly.  “Please hold on, Henry!” they begged.  For some reason, he knew he could trust these lights.  Instead of trying to reject the connection, Henry dug his metaphorical heels in and deepened his connection.

Now it felt like he had all his fingers stuck in light sockets, and some of his toes as well.  The agony was overwhelming.  Henry dimly heard Tony’s voice in his mind asking if everything was alright.  The man from Earth ignored him and channeled every bit of his mind into keeping himself from flying apart.  He thought about his mom, how much he loved her, and how much respect he had for her.  He focused on how she and his dad had loved each other, on how her heart had broken when he’d died.  Henry had just saved his mom from cancer.  He refused to die before she did.  He refused to leave her without a son, refused to go out without a fight, even if his grave would be on another world or whether he currently found himself.

Then he thought of Mareen, his sweet, pure-hearted wife.  A woman from another world, another race, another background, another culture who somehow completed him, made him better than he could otherwise be.  He knew he made her happy most of the time, and remembering her smile filled him with joy.  Mareen was young, and her very youth just made who she was as a person even more amazing.

They’d been arguing before the battle with the zombies.  Mareen wanted a child, and Henry hadn’t thought it was time yet.  They were adventurers, after all.  Their lives were dangerous.  He decided if he survived and found his way back to her, he couldn’t deny her any longer.  More importantly, he had to survive.

Henry would not leave Mareen all alone, he couldn’t break her heart.  He had three choices.  He could let the pain take him, let it carry him off to the distant darkness and pinpricks of light, he could reject the lights he was reaching out to, which he somehow knew would still result in his end, or he could endure.

I am me! He thought, shouting his words against the emptiness around him.  Henry steeled himself, drawing even more deeply on his connection with the lights.  Now the sensation was like all of his extremities were plugged into a hydroelectric dam, like he was riding several bolts of lighting all going different directions.  He raged against oblivion, barely holding utter destruction at bay.

After what felt like an eternity of barely holding himself together, maintaining his personal identity amidst a torrent of power and pain, all the agony suddenly stopped.  “Well done, Henry!” he heard a strange voice say in his mind.  It still sounded like many whispers speaking in unison, but now he could understand it perfectly.

The voice continued, “Now reach out to the other group!  You are amazing!  We might be able to save you after all!

Henry’s spirit felt dull after the fight he’d just had, but he knew with every fiber of his being that he could trust the voices.  It was like he was hearing a part of himself.  With a sense of fear, he gingerly reached out to the light, hopeful group of lights.

This time when he made contact, the sensation was completely different.  Instead of pain, he just felt warmth.  At first, the heat was uncomfortable, like standing too close to a bonfire.  However, over time, the sensation abated and Henry heard a new voice, like the previous, hard edged precise voice, but with more personality now.  “Excellent!” it praised.  “We might all be able to survive!”

Henry felt exhausted in mind and spirit.  With the new change that had taken place in his consciousness after making contact with the second group of lights, he could sense another group of lights oriented on Tony, lights that were golden and flickered in and out of existence.  They whispered quiet, good natured laughter at him, and he noticed they extended trails of sparks at him, feeding him power.

He could also sense the group of dark, non-lights staying in place.  Now he could hear that voice better too.  It was saying, “Mission” over and over again.

He tried to formulate a thought towards the voice in his mind, directing his question to the lights with hard edges.  “What now?  What about the dark lights?

We don’t know,” the voices replied.  “We are out of time too.  If you remain in this place much longer, you will be lost to us.  It was a risk to begin with, one that would not have been possible without the other host’s Dhu cooperating.”

Wait, what? Henry began, but the entire world around him began spinning, swirling wildly like he was caught in a universe was spiraling down a cosmic drain.  Once again, his thoughts fractured.

Eternity seemed to pass.  When Henry regained his senses again, he was standing in the field on Ludus again in Tony’s memory.  The two orbs looked confused, and the darkness that had fallen before was receding as fast as it’d come before.

The dark streamers were still coming out of his back, and he saw them wildly waving around out of the corner of his eyes.  Something had them agitated.  He turned around to get a better look, and when he saw what was behind him, his eyes narrowed.

Tony fell to his knees, shaking wildly.  “Henry, please.  Please, we need to get out of this.  I can’t do that again.  I can’t be in that place.”

The two orbs began opening their mouths, but Henry held up a forestalling hand.  His mind was sharp now.  In fact, he felt stronger than he ever had in general.  “I think we can ask your orb, her name Gellab, right?  We can ask Gellab and Mr. Neighborhood over here some questions.  I’d also like to know what is going on, and more specifically, what the fuck that is,” Henry said, pointing at the giant, enormous shadow standing a few yards behind him.

It seemed to be reaching for the lines of darkness coming from his back, and more worrying, the waving tendrils were all trying to reach the shadow too.  Henry didn’t know what it meant, but he had a feeling it wasn’t good.

Delvers LLC 3, Chapter 1

Posted by Blaise on
12 1,615
Categories

Okay everyone.  This is one of the 3 chapters for book 3 I will be posting on the site.  If anyone wants to continue reading Delvers, chapters will be posted on Patreon.  Chapter 8 is about to be done.  Patreon page

I hate to do this, but I’m going to start preparing to use the Kindle Select (Kindle Unlimited) program again.  This means that I will need to eventually take the story down again, this time for good.  The story won’t be free to read anymore after that, but the Patreon page is only $2 a month.  I think this is reasonable.  If you don’t, I will be super sorry to lose you as a reader, but there are many, many more folks who want to read the story on Kindle Unlimited out there and they’ve made their voices heard.

This has been a difficult decision.  I plan to write up a message to all of my readers about this in the next week and post links all over the place.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the chapter.  -BC

 


Alien Thoughts

Previous book

next page


Blackness.  Absence of light.  Absence of thought.  Colored lights swirling around, making music, talking to him.  It was peaceful, but deep.  The deepness was terrifying.  He didn’t want to fall, but he didn’t know which was was up.  Nothing was clear, but the lights continued to speak to him.  Then everything changed.

Henry found himself walking down the streets of Seattle.  His thoughts moved slowly, his surroundings seemed to be covered in a grey haze.  People moved around in slow motion, none of them noticing as he passed among them like a ghost.

He aimlessly wandered for a while, realizing he was in Chinatown, the International District.  Henry shrugged, not caring where his steps carried him.  He noticed wisps, dark tendrils trailing his body as he moved, but he didn’t care about that either.  

After he hit 4th Avenue, Henry continued towards the water, picking streets to follow at random.  The world was quiet, eerily silent until Henry heard an intensely whispered, “Henry!”  He turned.

Tony moved towards him, looking confused.  He wore a frown, and seemed strangely out of place.  The kid didn’t have any black stuff coming off of him.  Henry was curious about that for half a second until he dismissed it.  It wasn’t important.  Nothing was important.

“Henry, is that your name?” the kid asked, his voice worried.  Henry wondered why he was upset.  What was there to be upset about?  What had he been thinking about?  He didn’t remember.

After another few steps, Tony began following him, and Henry quickly forgot he was there.  The other people he saw didn’t look real, but he was fascinated all the same.  He could tell they had lives and loved ones.  They were connected to the world around them.  Henry didn’t feel connected to anything.  He walked past an alley, and a homeless person who otherwise saw everything looked right through him.

He’d wound his way through the city streets, heading to no place in particular.  Tony followed behind him, muttering to himself.  After a while, the boy took hold of Henry’s sleeve.  He was wearing cargo shorts and a graphic t-shirt.  Henry thought that was strange for a moment, but the thought passed through his mind like a hummingbird with places to be.  It wasn’t important

Before too long, Henry found himself by the water.  He hadn’t been trying to get to the waterfront, but he liked it there.  The wisps coming off his back were getting longer.  They never touched Aodh, Tony, but they writhed around, brushing pretty much everything else, like hungry tentacles.

On the nameless Seattle dock, Henry eyed the ocean.  He saw his reflection and took a step back.  The man in the water was tired, wounded, wearing strange, metal armor, and bleeding from his eyes.  Herny rubbed his goatee and tried thinking.  It was very difficult to form thoughts, they kept escaping like bubbles rising from a swamp.

Eventually he shrugged.  The man in the water was scary, but interesting.  He took a couple steps forward, falling into the ocean.  The teen holding his shirt followed him, muttering all the way.

  …

A swirl of images bombarded him.  It was hard to make sense of any of it.  Most of the time, he didn’t particularly care, but he felt odd spikes of emotion that made it hard to just exist.  Panic, fear, anxiety, he felt flashes of terror as if he was experiencing them for another person.  It was quite curious.

He caught a brief memory of someone thanking him.  His mother?  The thought held weight to it, grounding his flitting mind for a moment.  He looked around and saw stars, or at least pinpricks of light that moved.  Henry strangely felt outside of time, not anchored in a way he’d never realized he had been before.

The past.  Time.  The concepts held no power in this place.

Suddenly, the stars swirled, and the sky collapsed.  There was a rush of sound, both pleasant and unpleasant sounds, all compressed into an instant.  When light came back, Henry found himself standing in a field near a copse of trees, crude drawings carved into the bark.  Aodh was on the ground, snoring softly.

Henry noticed a couple people in the distance walking towards him and waited for them to arrive.  As the moments passed, he felt his emotions, his sense of self returning.  However, the black streamers from his back he’d seen before were still there.

Henry blinked.  What the fuck is going on?

He glanced up again as his mind was returning and actually really looked at the top approaching people.  He blinked again.

One was his orb, or at least as it appeared to him.  A tall white man in slacks, a shirt, tie, and sporting a dapper sweater.  The other person was short and female.  Actually, aggressively female.  Her curves weren’t that amazing, but the way she walked was like femininity incarnate.  She had dragonfly wings, and wore…a chainmail bikini.

The winged woman had a bluish tint to her skin and a couple small horns protruded from the rear of her jaw.  Her hair seemed almost partially made of feathers, and streamed behind her in a deep blue wave.  He legs hinged like a regular woman, but she stepped with an airy gracy that even Areva women didn’t match.

Henry thought she was painfully hot, and he watched her approach as his thoughts continued to gel together.  Eventually, he glanced from the woman and the man approaching, down at the sleeping teen on the ground, and back up.  “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Henry sighed.  “He’s the one who gets a sexy orb to talk to?”

He frowned and crossed his arms, waiting for the pair to arrive.  After a while, Henry realized he’d been waiting longer than he should have been.  His orb’s manifestations almost seemed to be walking on a treadmill going the other direction.  He squinted and realized the approaching pair were actually moving away from him.

The sky seemed to dim the further away they got, and the black streamers coming off his back whipped around faster.  Henry took that as a bad sign.  He thought briefly about touching one, but had a feeling that would be a Bad Idea, in capital letters.

Henry briefly wondered if he should go and meet them, but had another feeling that would be a Bad Idea.  Something inside him made it clear he needed to stay by Tony.  He thought about how annoying the whole situation was, and wished the two would hurry up and get to him.

Suddenly, the day brightened a bit and it seemed his orb and the chainmail bikini hottie were closer.  Now that’s odd, he thought.  Henry watched them closely as they slowly started drifting back again and narrowed his eyes.

“This is bullshit.  Get over here!” he shouted, willing it to be so.  The two sped towards him like they were on a motorized walkway at an airport.  It seemed only another few seconds passed until they were standing before him.

The woman snapped her fingers and Aodh woke up.  The kid immediately stood and looked around.  “Where are we?  Wait, I recognize this place.”

“Well, I don’t,” said Henry flatly.  “Where the hell are we?”

“Well, that is a bit of a delicate subject, neighbor,” said Henry’s orb.

“Listen motherfucker, I told you not to call me that.”

“But it calms you, and you need need to be calm.  It’s completely alright, this is a wonderful day.  Do you like this area?  I certainly do.”  As the orb’s manifestation spoke, the petite, winged vixen began to fret over Aodh.

Henry gritted his teeth before asking calmly, “I have no idea what is going on.  My memory seems to not be working right either.  Where are we, and what is all this?”  He gestured at the black trailing from his back, idly waving like paper fluttering in a breeze.

“Oh, that’s what you want to know?” asked the blue haired woman.  She turned and asked the tall orb, “Should we tell him?”

“Yes, I believe we should,” the man in the sweater replied.  “Henry, this is very difficult to tell you, but I’m glad we’re friends and we’re together.”

Henry rolled his eyes.  “Out with it.”

The man in the tie sighed.  “Well, neighbor, we’re dead, but you especially.”

“Well, sorta,” amended the winged woman.

Henry turned to regard Tony and the kid was looking right back at him with wild eyes.  The teen spoke for both of them he he asked, “What in the hell is going on?”

Delvers LLC 2, Chapter 25

Posted by Blaise on
6 858
Categories

This is the last chapter of book 2.  Thank you for coming on this ride with me!

I’m getting pretty beat up in reviews, so I’d appreciate if you’d leave a review for me on Amazon if you liked the story!  https://www.amazon.com/Delvers-LLC-Obligations-Blaise-Corvin-ebook/dp/B06Y4BVRQ4/

And as always, please vote for the story on Top Web Fiction.  These votes really help me.  They refresh every week, so please vote again!  http://topwebfiction.com/vote.php?for=delvers-llc


previous chapter

next book

Politically Expedient

 

Yelm tapped his foot impatiently.  He let his magic creep through his body, manifesting on his fingertips in a subtle warning.  He growled a question.  “Why haven’t you found them yet?”

The woman he spoke to, a Ludus-born Terran, a Ludan, merely smiled.  She was obviously not intimidated in the slightest.

With an effort of will, Yelm reigned in his temper.  He was aware of all the other eyes on him.  There would always be time to properly deal with Celina, the smug bitch was not as untouchable as she thought she was.

Delvers LLC 2, Chapter 24

Posted by Blaise on
16 1,543
Categories

Delvers 2 is out for sale on Amazon!  The published version is professionally edited, has some new content (mostly fleshing things out) and is easier to read.  Please support the official release. 🙂  Buy Delvers Here

In other news, I’m going to be adding a few chapters for Delvers 3 exclusively on Patreon until I start writing Delvers 3 full time after SOO.  This might take a while.  As a reminder, SOO 2 chapters will only be posted to Patreon past the first 2 or 3 chapters on my site.  Link to Patreon

I’ve also decided that starting with the launch of either book 3 of SOO, or book 3 of Delvers, I am going to be going KU again.  This will take place in a few months and means I will need to remove most of the content on my site.  I’ll still be uploading /new/ stories, but the old ones will no longer be available for free.  This means Delvers readers will continue to be able to read free content if they keep up with it.  This is the best compromise I’ve come up with.  What do you all think?


previous chapter

next chapter

 

Different Burdens

 

Jason wished he was still back in Harmly.  Sleeping in a real bed for a few days had been nice, even if he hadn’t gotten to see Uluula much.  His wife had been spending a lot of time with Mareen, helping her deal with Henry being missing.

Missing.  It’d been over two weeks since the group had left Harmly.  The whole group felt the absence of everyone who wasn’t with them anymore.  In particular, Thirsty was sorely missed among the entire group.  The strange, flamboyant man had been subtly improving morale the whole time he’d been with them, and Jason had never even noticed.  He felt like an idiot.

On top of Thirsty not being with them anymore to talk about random things from Earth, or remark on everything they passed, or sing along to songs on Keeja’s music player, they didn’t even have the music player itself anymore.  Keeja had taken it with her when she vanished over two weeks before.

Writer of the day on r/Fantasy!

Posted by Blaise on
0 202
Categories

Hey everyone!  I have good news!  Firstly, I’m writing again and trying to make up for lost time.  Thank you for being so patient with me up until now.

Second, I’m the writer of the day on r/Fantasy today (2/15/2017)!  I’ll be answering questions on Reddit all day.  If you’d like to stop by to upvote, ask questions, or just show some support, that would be awesome!  The link is here:  https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/5u6pvo/rfantasy_writer_of_the_day_blaise_corvin/

I’m working hard now to have Delvers 2 out next month.  I’m behind, but if I push hard I think I can still make it happen.

-BC

Sorry for the delay! Plus, a new book suggestions page

Posted by Blaise on
0 1,854
Categories

previous chapter

next chapter

 

Hey all,

Just dropping in to say sorry for the delay.  I’m still trying to get the next chapter out today or tomorrow.  This week was pretty crazy for me.

However, I do have something new to show everyone.  I started a suggestion list (for fictions) on my website. I’m focusing on LitRPG stories and transported (Portal fiction) stories.  Every story I link is at Amazon and quite a few of them have a full series to read!

List of book suggestions on BC’s site

If you’re as voracious of a reader as I am, I am hoping you will find this list helpful.

Tell me what you think, please!

 

-BC

News for Book One

Posted by Blaise on
7 1,876
Categories

previous chapter

next chapter

 

This post is also on my news page (which I update regularly) at:  http://blaise-corvin.com/news-2/

News 9/29/2016

Okay all – I’m going to make this announcement as clear as possible so there are no misunderstandings.
  • Book 1 of Delvers LLC – Welcome to Ludus is going to KU (Kindle Unlimited) on Sunday, Oct. 2.
  • This means only the first few chapters of Book One will stay up on RRL, Wattpad, and my website
  • Book One will be on KU for 3 months.  After that time, the chapters will come back online
  • Book Two (Adventure Capital) will continue to advance every week as usual
  • I don’t plan on going KU for any books other than book one in the future
So this is only a temporary thing and book 2 will continue to update.
If you’ve been putting off finishing book one, just try to get it read by Sunday night.
I thought about this decision for a long time and this is the best compromise I can think of.
Please know I’m not super happy about this, but there are a lot of people who don’t read web serials and have been asking me to put Delvers on KU.  New readers who just want to read the older version of the story online will just have to wait a few months.
In better news:

I’m working on getting a physical copy of Welcome to Ludus available!  I have a couple books coming in the mail next week.  If they check out, I’m going to okay the proof and then the book will be available (physically) on Amazon!  After the physical books are available, I’m going to think of some way to sell signed copies for readers that want them.

Physical copies will look like this:

aport

Last but not least, I should have a new chapter up tomorrow!  I really thought I’d get to start writing faster again after publishing, but it looks like I’m not done yet… lol.
This has been a lot to learn and it’s been overwhelming.  Thank you, everyone for being so understanding and so supportive through all of this.
-BC
Follow

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: