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 [5]

Ellie's eyes reflected a relentless winter, framed by eyebrows tense with a hunter's determination. "If there is a demon among us, we will exterminate it. It's our duty. If threatened, it will reveal its true form. No more beating around the bush," she declared without a tremor in her voice, each word a snowflake forged in steel.

I couldn't help but smirk ironically. "Wow, 'Miss Demon Slayer 2023', all worked up in the exterminator aura," I thought, with the tip of irony hanging on my tongue, ready to spit out a little joke that would certainly provoke sideways glances.

Ah, Plan B. My faithful companion in the inevitable theater of confusion that is dealing with mystical academies and their 'protect-the-world-from-evil-forces' policies. If Plan A had come into action, and it was us who had dispatched Caroline Campbell (or whatever was passing for her), we would have more intrigues than a prime time soap opera.

Because of her, the Pentagon would be doing somersaults trying to understand the disappearance of one of their precious students, and the demons? Oh, they would jump higher than an Olympic athlete upon noticing the disappearance of their little hellish spy. And guess who would come sniffing next? Yes, another demonic spy, perhaps someone with even sharper teeth.

However, coming to the light of Plan B, where the spotlights shine on the predestined heroes, we would have a very different narrative. A demon unmasked and defeated in the academy itself would make headlines, and with that, Diana, Ellie, and Sam would find themselves in the eye of the hurricane — but thanks to their 'indestructible protagonism' armor, they would escape almost unscathed. And me? Well, I would be on my couch watching everything, eating popcorn, and shaking my head in amused disapproval.

"Why didn't I think of that before?", I murmured sarcastically, "Ah, right. Maybe because I wasn't in the mood for more teenage drama than absolutely necessary."

Sam's sharp observation caught Ellie's killer aura and he tried to intervene with a soothing tone. "Ellie, look, I know you can turn this place into a body parking lot without breaking a sweat, but you need to cool your head. We don't want a massacre; we want a happy ending, right?"

Ellie, faithful to her indomitable spirit, ignored him with the dexterity of someone who ignores the alarm in the morning. And before Sam could position himself again as the sanity mediator, Diana subtly entered the scene.

Diana, with her wisdom of reading between the lines of life, knew the dark scars of Ellie's history — a knowledge that made her intervention a necessity. Sam, on the other hand, seemed to always be a chapter behind in this book of revelations, confused and marginally frustrated by being kept on the sidelines.

Ellie remained rigid, her stony gaze perhaps rivaling the scene itself in geological indifference. The dagger of her sword remained firm, as if it were an extension of her arm — no, of her will. "Who is the demon?" She was not simply asking; she was demanding a confession, a revelation, as if the words emanating from the coldness of her mouth could tear the truth from the shadows themselves.


Wedged in a remote corner of rocky desolation, a dead-end presented itself as both challenge and curse to the trio of students who found themselves there. With frustration etched on their faces, they contemplated the geographical impasse, their countenances living records of accumulated disgust.

Michael, whose appearance was that of an ordinary boy, boasted a pair of eyes and hair as black as a starless night, but he was anything but ordinary. The simplicity of his physiognomy contrasted with the relevance of the sword resting at his waist, promising a status that transcended his apparent banality.

At his side, two female figures offered a counterpoint to his contained presence. One of them, whose hair dyed in earthy tones subtly moved with each gesture, displayed dark and penetrating eyes, as if molded by darkness itself. The whip she carried was not a mere adornment, but a testament to her readiness for combat.

Finally, as the piece that completes and complicates the picture, there was Caroline, the epitome of apparent sweetness with her fiery locks and amber-gold eyes. She was immersed in criticism from her companions, who questioned the unfulfilled promise of a path to the imminent confrontation. "Didn't you say you knew the way to the boss, Caroline?!"

Approaching with a mix of disappointment and urgency, Michael questioned with the weight of shared responsibility, "We haven't found any monsters here and not even a path to the boss! Do you know how much time we've lost here?"

She, the target of the accusations, maintained a serenely childlike expression, a disturbing quietude in the face of the exasperation. In a sweet, almost curious voice, Caroline inquired, "Do you use any magical artifact that protects you?"

The strangeness of the question seemed to awaken more confusion than answer, an unexpected interruption amidst the anxiety. "What kind of question is that—" Michael was abruptly cut off, not by words, but by an act of betrayal.

The change in atmosphere was sudden and radical. The calm unraveled as Caroline moved to attack — a fluid execution, almost choreographed with the precision of a predator. The grotesque manifestation of violence erupted when Michael's throat became the source of a visceral burst, a red source that sprouted in abrupt jets.

The undeniable horror painted itself on the face of the other girl, her emotional palette upset by the immediate shock. Caroline, with a macabre grace, approached and replicated her previous blow, an inhumanly effective cut.

Fallen, the girl joined Michael, both transformed into macabre statues of warning and end. Caroline contemplated the result of her work with a certain air of scientific satisfaction. "It seems that my magic worked successfully. The enchantments in their suit that monitored their vital health were camouflaged. That's why they haven't teleported until now."

Picking up a sample of the still bright and warm blood, she rose and pronounced the enchantment, a conjuration that evoked invisible forces and pacts through tangible reality:

"O magni portae ultra velaminis, Nunc aperiuntur, in nomine caelorum. Nexus ignis, vincula ultra, Coniungant me ad regnum ultra. Per flammam ardenti inferi, Hoc nexum profunde fiat. Ab umbra ad lucem quae non est, Porta aperire, sic precor in pace."

It was the final symphony for the disturbed tranquility, the silent farewell to the light that once dwelt unsuspecting that darkness was more than a companion — it was a precursor, lurking, waiting for the moment to claim its territory.

The environment that once housed pure brutality now transmuted into something even more threatening, as if it were possible to distill even more shadow from the reigning darkness. Caroline remained unperturbed amidst the new prevailing reality that she herself had helped birth. Her voice, a mere whisper that seemed more like a rattlesnake among the broken rocks, announced the beginning of a new dark phase: "The preparations are ready to start the massacre. Once this connection is established, I will only need more power to completely change this dungeon."

A response emerged, springing from the spilled blood, as if the fluid molecules were conductors of a macabre communication. "Great. Take care of killing the individuals on the blacklist," instructed the voice that seemed to come to life from the very act of violence perpetrated.

She instinctively began to respond deferentially, "Yes, Mr. Kan—", but was interrupted before she could include the name of her master in her speech. "Make sure not to fail. Know that failure will cost you much more than death, Hannya," the voice emphasized with a coldness that would make the temperature of the air seem milder in comparison.

Submission was not a choice for Caroline, but a necessity for survival within this Dantean game. "Yes sir, I understand and I will not fail," she confirmed, certainty and fear intertwining in her words.

"Great, finish your plan," commanded the voice before ending the sinister connection, sealing the communication with the austerity of the shadows that departed as suddenly as they had arrived.

The blood she had held evaporated, the physical reality of those bodies ceasing their tangible existence and leaving only deathly traces on her hands. With the scraps of blood marking her skin, Caroline proceeded to clean them in an animalistic manner, her tongue acting as a purifying agent in a scene that emulated the predatory act of post-hunt cleaning.

When her skin was devoid of the blood that resided there, the transformation that followed seemed a visual confirmation of the power that began to course through her being. A purple aura surrounded her heart and suddenly, her eyes lost any trace of the color they once possessed, assuming a saturated red of meaning and danger. At that moment, a fraction of the power of the being with whom she had conversed flowed through her, strengthening the demonic entity that Caroline embodied.

This gain in strength seemed to foreshadow the breadth of terror she was about to unleash. The silence that once prevailed was now filled with dark promises, every corner of the dry, cracked rocks echoing the intensifying pulse of evil. The dungeon, a stone sanctuary that had already witnessed quietude and brutality, was about to have its cold walls bear witness to a much more sinister spectacle.


Ah, what a delight, back to the soap opera of secret passages, those that make you miss the front door. After venting about the identity of the devil, Sam, Diana, and Ellie emerged from the secret passage at a strategic point, armed to the teeth and with the disposition of an olive tree of a bonsai — it's time to hunt the infernal brat.

"Now finally alone I—" Ah, who am I trying to fool? Solitude lasted less than a politician's promise in election season. Before I could finish my dramatic statement, a wave of malevolence hit me like a freezing winter breeze — chills sold separately. "A demonic aura?" I thought, with all the incredulity of an atheist at a miracle workers' meeting. Everything seemed to be going earlier than contraceptives on offer. For all the poorly written chapters and recycled clichés, what was happening in this dungeon?

I had a well-prepared script — villain defeated, resurrects more pompous than a peacock in a parade. But things ran off script. The heroes hadn't even crossed swords with the boss yet. I know this. I'm sure of this. So, what was all this mess? And more importantly, this frighteningly powerful aura, which now makes me rethink my career choice, I didn't write it. Some sorcerer's apprentice must have come in here and added their own strokes to the narrative.

Well, let's leave the main dramas to resolve this confusion with their traditional dose of heroism and recklessness. After all, what could go wrong? (If you heard thunder in the background, it was pure coincidence.)

Now, the cherry on the cake modified by this sinister manifestation that stopped to greet me — the little monsters of the dungeon are about to receive an upgrade. If they were scary before, get ready for version 2.0, with a twinkle in their eye and maybe even singing. And me? I should be rewriting, but my current arch-villain is dealing with the juiced-up boss. Maybe I can get a bargain at the infernal depot? It looks like I'm going to need all the discounts the underworld can offer.