Chapter 1:

{Prologue} World of Pillars

Pillars Between Us

Nibble.Bookmark here

“Hey, cut that out,” Curtis sat at a fountain, feeling her delicate soft hands circle around his neck.Bookmark here

The girl’s supple lips still clasped to the tips of his right ear as she shook her head. She tightened her hold around him, her chest squeezed against his back.Bookmark here

“What’s that?” as quickly as she said that, her open lips closed against his ears yet again.Bookmark here

“A spell to proved the particle theory you mentioned.”Bookmark here

Pleased with his reply, she started licking his ear.Bookmark here

“Seriously stop!” Throwing aside the notes he held, Curtis jumped forward in retreat. Both of them fell to the ground.Bookmark here

Curtis frantically raised himself up, turning around to look at her.Bookmark here

Her mellow white skin shone like porcelain, ocher hair glowing in a distinct gold. Sprawled on the ground, she lifted her head to expose an ethereal pair of jade green eyes. Calm, pure— innocent.Bookmark here

Curtis thought her eyes were deeper than the forest.Bookmark here

She chuckled.Bookmark here

“Pervert,” Curtis snickered with a smile.Bookmark here

“Oh?” She got up unsteadily, tossing herself right at him. Their bodies met in an embrace.Bookmark here

Curtis could feel her warmth spread all around his body. Their heat grew, hotter and hotter.Bookmark here

‘Something isn’t right.’Bookmark here

Curtis backed away to see her faint— disappearing smile.Bookmark here

The world distorted, colours fading into black and white, her figure drifting away.Bookmark here

Fire rose from beneath.Bookmark here

“I miss you.”Bookmark here

His vision shuddered, now no longer at the fountain where he once stood.Bookmark here

Crimson flames twisted into a small whirl. The ice around him melted into water. Those close to the blaze vaporized into gas.Bookmark here

The fire coiled around her.Bookmark here

Leaving only damp ash.Bookmark here

Remnants of flaky white particles descended to the ground like gentle snowflakes.Bookmark here

Curtis stared at the scene, his mind went blank, “Who..”Bookmark here

‘Who did I just kill?’Bookmark here

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A whale docked beside the newly found pillar. The Giga pillar amongst the other surrounding pillars.Bookmark here

Huge.Bookmark here

It had to be at least half the size of the pillar supporting Haital Kingdom. Dense thick woods and coral reefs weaved together in harmony. If not for the tiny bit of flat plains at the edge of this pillar they were at, it would’ve been troublesome to land.Bookmark here

Violet clouds shot across the darkening sky. The sun peeked from the horizon, half of it blocked by the murky abyss below. The sky went from an orange hue before melting into a deep navy-purple at the very bottom.Bookmark here

There was a corrosive barrier that separated this world from the endless void below. Those who tied to descend further would turn into mush. No adventurer could venture at those depths.Bookmark here

On the plains stood a campfire started with a few dry branches from the woods. A very thin barrier enveloped the fire.Bookmark here

“Um, not bright enough..?” Ellis tilted her head at Curtis.Bookmark here

“Is it really?” Curtis looked at her questionably.Bookmark here

Ellis held a book in her hand. Before this, her eyes were squinting hard at the contents under the campfire light. The main issue was the flickering of the flame.Bookmark here

She sent Curtis a pleading expression.Bookmark here

“Alright, alright, I get it.”Bookmark here

{Light orb}Bookmark here

Curtis raised his hand and at the tip of his index finger coalesced a tiny ball of luminous light. He let the light orb drift away from him, moving in a wavy line before stopping above Ellis’ shoulder. It was like a lamp, illuminating the pages of her novel.Bookmark here

“Thanks for the light Curtis,” Ellis smiled.Bookmark here

They chuckled before returning to their errands..Bookmark here

Ellis read her novel with ever-changing expressions. Curtis reviewed the contents of his bulky spellbook. Visualizing himself connecting notes, making sure he had remembered the fundamentals of magic required for a spell.Bookmark here

Night fell, the world slipped into darkness. With the campfire burning with warm light, a fuzzing feeling of vitality emanating from within the flames.Bookmark here

“Whaley sure is tired huh?” Ellis’ voice rang.Bookmark here

Curtis snuck a look at her, she was looking at Whaley with his eyes closed. In proportion to its body, Whaley’s eyes were like peanuts. A peanut that was as big as an adult’s torso.Bookmark here

“Sure is,” Curtis returned his gaze to his spellbook. He felt slightly drowsy with the meal Ellis made before still warm in his stomach.Bookmark here

Weird.Bookmark here

Ellis’ arbitrary puffing cheeks and exaggerated gasps would be leaked out of her mouth. Just what was the novel about? Curtis couldn’t help but wonder how mere words could turn Ellis into a weird sound-making machine. Not sexual in any sort of way of course.Bookmark here

Curtis snuck another look at her.Bookmark here

“You’re always so hooked up on that spellbook of yours...”, Ellis smack shut her novel, eyes narrowed at Curtis.Bookmark here

Apparently, those weird sounds weren’t caused by the novel. Instead, it was to attract his attention.Bookmark here

Curtis didn’t know how to react to that.Bookmark here

“I’m lonely.”Bookmark here

Ellis circled around Curtis, hugging him from behind. She placed her head on his shoulders.Bookmark here

Curtis brought the two ends of his spellbook together and put it aside. He told Ellis to sit on his lap.Bookmark here

Naturally, Curtis made her lean against him, one hand coupled around her waist while the other fidgeted with her soft, delicate hands.Bookmark here

Well, at least to Curtis it felt that way. As she was a sword user, her hands were practically full of calluses, especially where the boney part met the handle of the sword.Bookmark here

“So what do you want to talk about?”Bookmark here

“Erm, well,” she pondered a bit, which looked somewhat cute, before continuing, “If one day, I were to become one of the Jesters, you wouldn’t hesitate to kill me would you?”Bookmark here

She didn’t turn around, her eyes glued to her own hand Curtis was playing with.Bookmark here

“If one day you became a part of the Jesters huh...” Curtis thought about it.Bookmark here

Jesters. It was a group that appeared out of nowhere. Rumours say they could execute team fights with unparalleled coordination. Utilizing an array of unusual fighting styles to seduce the opponent. Simply put it, unpredictable. Their origin? Unknown.Bookmark here

Because of the sudden spike in rumours surrounding their existence, it became a prevalent gossip topic. Jesters were said to be a cult-like existence, comprised of many small cliques of 5 to 6 people.Bookmark here

‘What if Ellis became brainwashed? What if I became brainwashed?’Bookmark here

Was brainwashing really possible? As the mage he was, Curtis didn’t know. And would they one day encounter one of these so-called Jesters? He had a hunch for some reason.Bookmark here

“Haha... I think I’m just thinking too much. This head of mine. When reading a novel, all sorts of weird things or delusions enter my mind..”Bookmark here

Curtis restrained her fidgeting hand, his fingers interlocked with hers.Bookmark here

There was a small spark at the contact but Ellis didn’t notice.Bookmark here

“Let’s just hope that won’t ever happen?” Ellis tilted her head slightly. From that angle, Curtis could see the hint of worry emanating from her round sky-blue eyes.Bookmark here

“Yeah, pretty sure it wouldn’t happen,” Curtis looked to the sky.Bookmark here

The legend of the Jesters revived once more when one person from the cult severed links with the other Jesters. He was no longer controlled by the other Jesters, his thoughts were independent. He referred to himself as beings from another world. And that they had arrived at the heavenly realm.Bookmark here

That guy was locked up in the depths of the kingdom dungeon though.Bookmark here

Because of his flashy declarations, people around the kingdom now knew how the brainwashing sermon was conducted. The victim had to either be under deep sleep or at the brink of giving up consciousness. Blood would be used as a catalyst, depending on the situation.Bookmark here

How does brainwashing work then?Bookmark here

Well— not that Curtis really heard the Jester’s so-called declaration. All of it was hearsay in the end. But one thing was for certain. Something had happened to have caused this rumour.Bookmark here

The campfire still burning, Curtis dimmed the flames just slightly. It created a gentle-warm atmosphere, great for sleeping but..Bookmark here

“Curtis, could we like.. erm.. take turns patrolling..”Bookmark here

New pillar, wild landscape, almost total darkness, the nearest town at least a few hours away..Bookmark here

“Did you read a horror novel?” Curtis asked.Bookmark here

Ellis shook her head.Bookmark here

“I got it. So should I go first or...”Bookmark here

“Um, together?” tilted her head to looks behind.Bookmark here

Curtis made a puzzled expression.Bookmark here

“Ur.. let’s just not sleep using our sleeping bags. This is a newly discovered piece of land so it would be easier to ready ourselves if a threat were to appear right?”Bookmark here

“Something like that..”Bookmark here

Curtis turned his body and took out a large blanket from one of the baggage that hung on Whaley via wind magic. It was something like a levitation spell, though it wasn’t a manipulation of gravity.Bookmark here

Using another spell, he turned the stiff log they sat on before soft, like a pillow without making it feel mushy at all. Of the two blankets, one was placed over it.Bookmark here

“This should do?” Curtis had his doubts.Bookmark here

“Thank you.” Ellis, smiling effusively. With this, they won’t be sleeping separately, but together, under one blanket. She didn’t think it would turn out better than expected.Bookmark here

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Sha. Sha. Sha.Bookmark here

Ellis lifted her heavy eyelids. She let out a groggy moan as she sat up. Her hand rubbed her tired eyes. She hadn’t slept but was barely awake.Bookmark here

Sha.Bookmark here

Ellis remained still. There was something was off about this. The sound came from the darkness not too far away.Bookmark here

Curtis still lay quietly beside her.Bookmark here

Narrowing her eyes, sharpening her ears, she raised her vigilance.Bookmark here

The dim campfire flared up, making Ellis squinted her eyes.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I heard that too.” Curtis sat up. The campfire had now erupted into a bleach-white egg bulb.Bookmark here

“What now?”Bookmark here

“I think we prepare ourselves. There are more than one targets, I think.”Bookmark here

Both of them stood up and readied their stance, a light orb coalesced and drifted into the pitch dark front. Tree barks with green crystals sparkled, becoming visible where the light touched. Curtis commanded the orb to split into tiny light seeds, scattered them out in an arc.Bookmark here

What appeared were various different silhouettes. Silhouette of trees, leaves, corals, the blurry shadow of fluttering grass and a figure.Bookmark here

No.Bookmark here

Multiple figures hanging by their necks, their heads bent at an impossible angle.Bookmark here

The silhouettes were obvious. Anyone could guess what it was in one look.Bookmark here

‘Just how many were there?’Bookmark here

Tyrant-class creatures were fine but this?Bookmark here

“What is that... are they actually what I think they are?” Curtis thought it could’ve been some kind of wild crustacean beast. Craning his head towards Ellis’ direction, he could see her shivering. Holding her sword, a bead of sweat dripped down her cheek.Bookmark here

Right.Bookmark here

These were corpses.Bookmark here

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Authors note: Hello! I’m a newbie here Huh? Anyways, I signed up for honeyfeed the moment I saw it. Like... wha... built for actual light novel lovers? Gosh, I just gotta get my hands dirty. Though I kinda wonder how the ecosystem works on honeyfeed? Anyhow, it seems to me like it’s a relatively new (Or has just become trending) website. By no means am I a good writer (I probably s*ck— really bad..). But the main point is LIGHT NOVEL. Not just some random ‘web novel’ website that in itself isn’t ‘light novel genre’ friendly, I think.. (I mean, I’ve been publishing my work on RoyalRoad for 4 months now? And I quit publishing on Webnovel cuz that website just scares me. Honestly. I won’t go into the specifics but I learnt that the way the website is built—well.. let’s just say it’s manipulative, emotionally. But take that with a grain of good al’ salt cuz I ain’t a pro. I’m just a writer trying my best to publish my own light novel in the future.)Bookmark here

P.S. I’m also an artist :D. The cover art was done by me.Bookmark here

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