The Author’s Paradox

The center of the universe. The undisputed victor. The one who ultimately wins hearts and undoes enemies with a triumphant smile. That is the role of the protagonist. And all in their orbit are merely supporting characters in the epic that is their life. As for me? I was just a writer, whose words seldom echoed beyond the silence of my own mind. And when they did, it was in the form of a novel – my sole outcry in the vastness of literary oblivion. Until the day the thread of my life snapped… and in the blink of an eye, I was reborn. Inside my own work. With clenched fist and resolute soul, I faced the new reality. Reincarnating into one's own story seems promising, right? To be the immortal hero, the aura of invincibility, the inevitable romances. Except no. The plot twisted and I returned not as the hero, but as an extra – an NPC in the affable terminology of gaming. Away from the spotlight, on the fringes of adventures and loves, I am just a figure that completes the backdrop for others to shine. And honestly? What a relief! Why, you might ask, do I not wish to be the chosen one? Simple – protagonists are magnets for mishaps. Living on the edge of calamity? No, thank you. Death and I have already crossed paths; dramatic pretexts can keep their distance. Thus, I summon to the heavens my heartfelt thanks for this second anonymous chance. “Let me enjoy a stable life away from the limelight,” I plead fervently among tears of joy and resigned smiles. Yet, stifle that laughter. Know that these words, uttered in the innocence of a fresh start, would soon prove to be the prelude to an involuntary comedy. Because, it seems, even an extra can find themselves face to face with destiny. And so begins the most unexpected of journeys – one where the smallest of pawns may, somehow, change the game.

Superfabinho · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
64 Chs

Artificial dungeon [4]

In the squeeze of the rocky corridor, the space was as limited as the escape options. Torches emitted a flickering glow, throwing our shadows against the walls like dancing ghosts. The sound of our footsteps was a constant, almost as talkative as we were.

"How did you find out about the secret passage of the dungeon?" Ellie's voice broke the silence, laden with suspicion and surprise.

Was she talking to me? No, maybe with Sam… Things always got confused when adrenaline replaced common sense.

Catching my confused look, Sam retorted, highlighting the ambiguity. "Are you asking me or Dean?"

"I'm asking both of you! No other student knew of the existence of a secret passage that leads directly to the boss's room," Ellie insisted, her impatience bordering on accusation.

"Not only to the boss's room, but also to other points of the dungeon," I retorted, not resisting the opportunity to deepen the mystery, amusing myself with her evident frustration.

"Hey, you didn't answer my question!"

Ellie was getting annoyed, but I could hardly help her. Irony was a second skin, and sometimes I just couldn't resist the urge.

Turning in the dimness that our own bodies compressed, the exchange of glances between Sam and I was a silent dialogue, laden with malicious complicity.

"Sam, should we enlighten our dear friend Ellie about the wonders of our knowledge, or leave her to savor the ignorance that seems so sweet on her lips?" I teased, the irony dancing in my eyes like the shadows on the walls.

With a smirk that barely disguised his own biting satisfaction, Sam condescended: "Nah, why complicate the simple joys of her life? Besides, there's a risk of brain overheating, imagine that."

Ellie's reaction was instantaneous, the pulsing of a vein in her forehead an evident gauge of her growing fury. "You bastards. What, do you think I'm some brainless idiot?"

"Do we think? That's more than a guess, it's a scientific certainty," I replied, allowing myself to dive into sarcasm without any restraint. After all, provoking my own creations was a sport as much as an addiction - after all, what author doesn't delight in seeing his characters dance to the tune he plays?

Amid the tension that spread through the corridor, Ellie's resolution only served as a fuse for Sam's irreverent amusement.

"Pffhaha… Dean, did you see her face?" Sam struggled to contain more laughter, one hand holding his stomach and the other leaning on the rocky wall to keep his balance.

"I saw, I saw, haha!" My own laughter joined the chorus, echoing through the corridor, seemingly as contagious as unpretentious.

Ellie, with clenched hands and heavy breathing, prepared herself like a cornered beast to jump in our direction. It was then that Diana, almost like the incarnation of serenity, put her hand on Ellie's shoulder, her gesture alone enough to dissolve part of the tension.

"No, Ellie, it's not worth wasting your time." Diana's voice was firm, but calm, a counterpoint to our unrestrained laughter.

Sam cast a glance at me, his eyes still shining with the shared mischief. We looked at each other and, almost like a mutual recognition of the absurd situation we were in, our laughter merged once again.

"Haha, I think we went too far, Sam," I say between laughs, as I watch Ellie calm down under Diana's soothing influence.

This awareness, this peculiar self-awareness of being the reason for the existence of others, brings with it an undeniably lonely paradox, intermingled with an almost divine pleasure. Creating worlds and characters - actors who dance on imaginary stages - can be an act of power, but also of deep connection.

This connection, as imaginary as it may be, has the weight of reality, and for a moment, I, the author, lose myself in the spectacle. I watch Sam - his joy overflowing in waves of uncontrollable laughter - and then Ellie, fury and frustration personified, but with a humanity that evokes not only the drawing of my mind, but also a reflection of my own extremes.

Diana, the voice of reason, combats the chaos with calmness - she is the bulwark, the anchor point, and in her quiet competence, the balancer of this wild microcosm.

There is the mirror of my soul, exposed in the characters that confront each other, creating vivacity in a universe where I am both god and observer. Suddenly, the line between creator and creation blurs; they become a company, entities with whom one laughs, fights, loves.

Yeah, it's not so bad…

There is a beauty in this controlled chaos, a kind of magic that can only be cultivated in the mind of someone willing to play with their own inventions. And as I contemplate this theater of diverse personalities, I realize that perhaps the greatest creation of all is the very act of creating, of taking from nonexistence something so full of life - even if only within the confines of my imagination.


The scene in the dungeon was a glimpse of an arachnid nightmare manifested: a floor that was once solid, now a disorderly mosaic of chitinous corpses of creatures that defied the simple definition of insects. Spiders, cockroaches, centipedes - each one undone, their viscera of a profane purple staining the stone floor.

And amid this carnage lay Blake, as out of place as a snowflake on a battlefield. His hair, white as the clouds before the storm, hung in a disordered way, framing his face whose blue eyes shone with the fierce determination of a warrior engaged in a sacred cause. In his hands, the daggers, beautifully carved and now bathed in the lifeblood of the creatures he had slain, reflected a sinister glow.

He was panting, but there was something sparkling in that fatigue - it was not just exhaustion, but a spark of pride, the satisfaction of victory achieved on the sharp edge of his blade and the resilience of his spirit.

"I will be the one who will kill the boss!" Blake's statement flew across the dungeon, a bold challenge thrown to the ears of the unknown, possibly sinister, inhabitant of those dark confines. In that sentence, it was not just a desire for glory that pulsed, but a firm promise of eminence and power.


After a marathon worthy of a sitcom, with loud laughs that echoed as we got back to our gloomy quest. Being a reincarnated author has its advantages - you write the between the lines of your own life. As Sam, Ellie and Diana followed my footsteps through the chessboard of corridors, I plotted alternative dialogues in my head, after all, changing destinies is my specialty.

"The impending horror show with our possessed schoolgirl is like a finale: it comes with a bang only in the last act," I reflected, mentally counting the chapters until the climax. "Should I play the script ahead and send the supporting cast to meet face to face with the demonized before the time?"

I sketched my invisible chessboard as I threw the bait to the others: "Has anyone ever crossed paths with a demon before?" The question fell like a domino chip about to knock down all the others.

At the sound of "demon", Ellie frowned with the hostility of someone who had their solo stolen in an opera. "Yeah, so what?" She foamed with defense.

Sam seemed to have his own sticker album of horrors. "Well, it's not a happy hour talk, but yes, I had that encounter. What's the point of the question?" He had that investigative vein, typical of the guy who was made to save the day.

Diana, the mysterious one, watched with the silence of the wise, perhaps aware of what I was implying. I planted my feet on the ground, pausing as if to give the cliffhanger before the commercial: "Without delay and without spoilers… there is a demon in our class, and he is wearing the class badge."

The murmur dispersed like mist in the wind, fading the sound of our footsteps and leaving a poignant void of surprise. "A demon among us? What a bad joke," one could read in their disturbed silence.

Sam, with a furrowed brow of someone facing a riddle, was not in the mood for jokes: "This is a serious accusation. The academy has ways of detecting these anomalies, so a demon shouldn't go unnoticed here."

He had a point. The academy was more equipped than a spy in an action movie. But before I threw more fuel on the fire or revealed the plot twist of the story, I decided to lead the script to another act. "I will answer everything and point the spotlight at our hidden villain soon, however, first, bargain. Every good plot has one."

With arched eyebrows, they measured me. Sam couldn't stand leaving a chapter open.

"What bargain?" Sam asked, the antithesis of patience.

Ah, so direct, how not to admire? "It's simple: you enter the scene, face and end the saga of the demon in the pentagon academy. Then, like a magic trick, you emerge as heroes before our venerable superiors and the global media. Game over," I declared with the pomp of an author proposing the climax of the play.

The proposal orbited the group like a wandering satellite, tracing uncertain movements in the space of their doubts. The trio exchanged glances laden with tacit questions, each with their theories bubbling in their own brain laboratory. But the flame of curiosity burned more intensely in Sam; this was clear in the way he scrutinized me looking for a flaw in my narrative.

"Before… Declare your sources, Dean. How do you come by this conspiracy-worthy theory?" Sam questioned, his voice a mixture of skepticism and need to understand the plot he had been immersed in.

In a narrative twist, I retorted, "Every good story has its secrets, and the creator is the first to know them. Consider this a non-disclosure clause, kindly added to our deal."

Diana, the character with keen eyes, did not settle for less. "Going into combat without complete information is an unnecessary risk. Your theory needs to be verifiable," she argued, the strategist weighing the risks.

"Cunning comes into play, then," I murmured, giving a hint to the mystery. "The demons do a kind of macabre transplant to camouflage their infernal essence. The result? Student bodies breathing, but demonic minds commanding. The demonic dowsing is replaced by human subtleties. And the soulmate who paired with the malignancy? She was sitting among us in the classes. My sources are… protected by the veil of certainty. Question the air if you wish, but don't expect me to reveal them."

Faced with Ellie's insistence, severe and urgent, the disturbing thought still simmered in Sam's mind. Mentally, he had sought the truth in the system, a generally reliable guide.

"Is this information true?" Sam asked, in a private conversation with his system.

The system's answer came quickly, relentless: [Yes, the information provided by Dean Carleone is accurate. The existence of a demon in your midst is extremely likely.]

Confusion and frustration bubbled inside Sam. "Why wasn't I informed of this before?"

The system responded promptly: [I only acquired knowledge of this possibility now, simultaneously to you. I advise you to seek more answers, since Dean Carleone seems to know the identity of the demon. Detecting this by usual methods would be impossible.]

It was a shock. The possibility that someone could know more than the system itself aroused a whirlwind of questions in Sam. However, he was abruptly brought back to the present by Ellie's fervent statement.

"If there is a demon among us, we will exterminate it. It is our duty. If threatened, he will reveal his true form. No more beating around the bush." Ellie said, with a cold look.


In a flashback… A mansion was immersed in shadows, as if devoured by the heavy cloak of a starless twilight, entangled by a storm so furious that it seemed to cry for the tragedy unfolded in its domains. The silhouette of a brutal clash was drawn by the metallic sound of blade clashes, sustained until a final cut, cruel and decisive, silenced the symphony of war with a final blow.

The room, once a symbol of nobility and order, now wore chaos. Its furniture was torn apart, panting echoes of a fierce fight that made the walls its papyrus, writing on them the history of deep and violent cuts. In this desolate scenario, two figures imposed presence - one lay defeated and vanquished in the coldness of the floor, and the other, triumphant and defiantly intact in the center of the gale that had been made within those walls.

The standing figure, humanoid in shape, carried the stigma of his infernal lineage in horns black as the purest obsidian. His hair, white as the night snow, contrasted with the blatant red of eyes that burned with the intensity of living embers. He wore an immaculate suit, which would be flawless if not for the scarlet splashes - mute witnesses of the sealed fate of what was now a bloodless and inert body.

The air emptied before his laughter, a sound that made kings tremble - a disturbing echo that reverberated a premonition of desolations to come, throwing the final insult to the fallen hero.

"Precipice of illusions… Is this the paladin proclaimed to subjugate my race? Interesting how you, mortals, weave hyperboles more fanciful than the narratives of a demon, kulkukuku". His laughter, a requiem of scorn, filled the voids of the room with the symphony of an infernal victory.

The darkness of the room was dense, almost tangible, suddenly torn by a pale and flickering beam of light. Claiming its place, the light expanded slowly, folding the shadows into a forced retreat, announcing the arrival of an unexpected element. As the demon ceased his scornful laughter, an old wooden door creaked on its hinges, opening like a portal to some distant and peaceful reality.

Through the luminous slit, a small creature entered - a girl, whose reddish-orange hair flowed like contained flames. The vibrant colors of her hair stood out vividly against the gloom, while emerald eyes sparkled, half hidden by the mist of sleep. She yawned, stretching her tiny and fragile arms in an unconscious attempt to cling to the world of dreams, which stubbornly escaped through her delicate fingers. "Brother, what was that noise?" Her voice, like a distant melody, was a sleepy whisper still trapped in the harmony of dreams.

The air stopped. It did not move. There were no answers to offer to such interrupted purity.

Lost in this threshold between the coziness of her bed and the terror that unfolded, she rubbed her eyes with small fists, fading the illusion of sleep. And then, the cruel and cold reality plummeted over her perception: the body of her brother lay a few steps away, a chilling canvas painted with violent strokes of brutality. He was there, but at the same time, tremendously absent, his fraternal warmth replaced by a permanent stillness.

Near the lying body, the nefarious figure rose, disguised as false consolation, with a biting smile on the edges of his corrupted mouth. "Your brother went to meet Jesus, my child. Now… it's time for you to go back to bed," said the demon, his hissing voice weaving a spell of darkness.

The little one made no sound. There were no tears, no scream - only a total muting, a torpor that enveloped her like a cocoon. Her eyes, widened in terror, reflected a last moment of suffering before the darkness claimed her consciousness and swallowed her back into the abyss of forced sleep.