Time for Triple S (short story Saturday)

Hi team, Kris here

My amazing wife hung out with the silly six year old so I could hurry and finish this story she definitely stole and I hadn’t lost earlier this week. I’ve been working on an RPG system that I can use to play some steampunk games with and I had to get the flying airship out of my system somehow before that’s done! Not as much of a kids read as there are some “bad” words, but it’s not too bad.

The Nightwatch
_______________________

Mando’s vision blurred as his eyes sank backward. Hand slipping from its perch, his knees finally gave way and he collapsed.

Face-first into his undisturbed cup of coffee. Steaming black liquid catapulted into his face right as his jaw made contact with the wooden floorboards.

“AAH! OWWW!”
“AHAHAHA”

Mando rolled around the floor clutching his burning face while his partner doubled over laughing, nearly losing his grip on the ladder. The old man gave the wooden floor a hearty punch to distract his mind from his face. “Leeroy you bastard, don’t just stand there and watch!” He removed his greasy shirt and was fanning his face to cool it. Thankfully he’d finally gotten around to shaving.

“Ha! Watch? You’re lucky the coffee did it this time. After the captain’s reaming I took by myself this morning I was about this close to nailing your ass to the nest so you didn’t sleep all night again.” Leeroy’s rippling muscles sprang him lightly onto the platform from the ladder as he glared daggers through the smaller man.

Mando didn’t believe the uptight youth would actually nail him to the tall lookout platform, but sometimes there were risks in life it was best not to argue with. “What’s the big deal? It’s the first time this week don’t be such a-”

“It’s the FIRST day of the week!”

The two watchmen growled at each other a few minutes longer, exchanging accusations and lame excuses.

“Why are you even up this late? I thought you went to bed before the children to get your beauty sleep.” The older man glowered at his peer while sucking on what was left of the bitter brew from his cup.

“You’d go to bed at a reasonable time too old man, if you weren’t sleeping through every shift.” The young man hopped to his feet and went through a brief but vigorous workout to help him wake up. “The geezer said we almost hit a mountain last night, woke up to a goat staring at him through the window. Took me off days and told me to babysit your ass all night.”

Mando chuckled at the mental picture but then frowned. He’d expected to have been taken off the night watch eventually for his neglegent behavior, not to be put in the command of a young punk with a try-hard attitude.

“What about Cow? How many people really need to watch a boat drift along at night?”

Leeroy hopped up to the spotlight above them and shone it into the blackness. Twinkling waves reflected up from the choppy waters far below, but all else was still. “CAL,” he began, emphasizing the pilot’s name, “was relocated to the AM so they could yell at him all day. Honestly you two picked a helluva time to drink yourselves under. Cap abandoned the job since we were too far off to make any money, we’re going to see if we can get some value at the flats instead.”

Mando’s grizzled face broke into grin as he was filled in. “Serves you all right. I’m a poor old man, I need comfort food and soft women to live out my twilight.”

Leeroy thumped onto the deck next to the hatch. “You’re a lazy middle-aged has-been with no useful skills, you can at least watch for danger while the rest of us sleep. If I get back from checking the rounds and you’re asleep I’m throwing you overboard old man. Maybe over the water.” He tossed the hatch up a bit and slid through it, forgoing the slowness of the ladder to drop the 15 feet soundlessly. He made a quick survey of the gauges on the bridge and compared the course log against their current speed and direction. They all looked fine, but he needed physical activity if he was going to survive working these hours.

Running slowly along the deck, each of the float fans was checked for noise and friction meticulously. Leeroy rigged himself to the balloon cage – a series of interwoven thick ropes securing the thick, gas filled balloon that provided most of their buoyancy – and climbed around it looking for holes and checking the patches already in place.

He paused for a few minutes to stand atop the massive inflated balloon to relax. Standing alone in the blackness, twinkling stars overhead. Nothing but the sounds of the wind almost therapeutic swish of the rotors. This was the most peaceful place he could think of during the day, but he never imagined it could be so tranquil overnight. He breathed the night air and let his body relax, just for a minute.

Sighing, he shimmied his way to the fore of the elongated balloon to spy on his counterpart. The old man sullenly stared into the darkness and sipped from a flask, laying over the rail to stay awake. Alright, time to get back to work before I have to make good on that promise. Leeroy quickly made his way to the deck below and finished the above-deck checks. Snapping a glowstick, he descended into the inky blackness of the ballast hold at the very bottom of the ship. Giant, steam pressured tanks all registered an even weight except the few at the fore of the ship. They were a bit heavy so the ship was probably moving faster than they should overnight; he went ahead and leaked the tanks back into the main so the ship would lose a bit of forward momentum over time.

Perfect.

His footsteps rang hollowly as he climbed the wooden ladder to the crow’s nest again. Might as well make peace with the old guy if they were going to be stuck together. Might be able to talk him into doing something useful if he were promised an early release, who knew? Leeroy’s head peeked through the hatch slowly, expecting the slumped figure of a sleeping old bastard. No?

Twisting his head this way and that, Leeroy expected for a moment for Mando to leap out and try surprising him, but the leap never came. “Mando? Where you at buddy?” He hopped up into the spotlight seat to check it out, but the night was silent. “Good one man, where’d you get to hiding?” This old son of a… Probably fell asleep and fell out of the nest. Ha, good. Except there’d been no impact, no screaming.

Leeroy finished sweeping the parts of the deck he could reach with the bright light and gave up. The glowstick had a good few minutes left of usable light left so he whipped it out and started looking in the usual napping spots. Not in his bed, not in someone else’s bed, not under the wheel. Hmmm. The old man was getting creative.

“Damn useless garbage.” He tossed the dim glowstick overboard, doing his best not to stomp while crossing the ship to get another. Useless glowsticks. Useless crewmates. Next thing he knew one of the damn float fans woul-

WOOSH

The two fans at the fore of the ship suddenly spun-up madly, jerking the front of the ship upward.

“I take it back!” Leeroy scrambled for a handhold to keep his footing and raced back to the entrance of the ballast hold. He snapped three glowsticks and grabbed an oil lamp, wedging himself into a corner to maintain his balance and hit the wick with a striker. Bursting into a strong yellow glow, the lamp lit quickly. Luckily the ship seemed to have stabilized in angle, but it still made walking difficult. Leeroy ran to the stairs and damn near fell headfirst down them over the unexpected body he kicked in front of the first step.

“Mando? What the hell are you doing!” Setting the lamp carefully to the side, he shook the old man ferociously. The thought of tripping down the stairs and the lamp oil scattering everywhere. The entire ship burning up with the sleeping crew inside. He successfully did not hit his unconscious partner, but it certainly wasn’t off the table. “I’m putting you up for auction the second we hit the flats you forsaken mother of-”

The light of the glowstick twinkled off a stream running down the stairs and caught him short. In a panic he grabbed the lamp to keep the flames away from the stream of oil before he realized he was an idiot – the dark stream was on the far side of the old man from the lamp, there’s no way leaking oil could….Blood? He grabbed Mando and checked for breathing and a pulse. He was alive. His head was gashed in the back and blood was freely running running in a little river down the stairs. Leeroy’s mind raced a moment for the best course of action. The ship came first, he knew.  Mando would have to wait. He rolled the older man into a corner where he wouldn’t slide off into danger and rushed below.

The almost dazzling light of the lamp led him to the ballast hold and he ran to the fore-tanks. Full? He’d just evened these out not thirty minutes ago, there’s no way.

A floorboard creak set his nerves on edge. The flame wavered violently as he about-faced to confront the noise. The eerie quiet of the hold had a different feel than during the day. Almost sinister. He took a few steadying breaths and wiped the sweat from his eyes. First things first he, thought. The hissing steam passed out of the tank with a ghastly screech as it emptied. He reached overhead and did the same to the fan valves, which were similarly set. He let himself fall against the tank as the ship righted, felt the pressure ease up as it slowed.

His narrowed eyes darted as he slowed his breathing and tried to hear something over his drumming heart. Someone on-board had followed him in earlier. Someone had altered these tanks.

There was no way they weren’t staring at him right now.

Leeroy tossed a glowstick to where he’d heard the sound a minute ago. Something flashed out of the way just as the small stick bounced off the wall. Coiled muscles reacted and flung him toward the middle of the ship instinctively, hurlng another glowstick ahead of him before he’d realized what was happening. He caught sight of someone jumping out of the way again, further back this time. Leeroy sprinted to the stairs and chucked his last glowstick at the heavy thudding above, bouncing it against the head of whoever was running away.

“Get back here!” Heaving himself up the stairs two at a time, he caught up to the figure as it busted onto the equipment platform, his massive leg smashing them in the back and sprawling them across the floor. “You better have a damn good reason to be down with the tanks, sailor.” Leeroy’s fingertips sizzled as he put out the lamp. He strode across the room.

Rolling to its feet, the shrouded figure threw a tiny ball at his face. Before he could move out of its way his vision flashed, a sound like a mast snapping but a thousand times louder assailed his ears. He cursed as he clutched at his eyes. He’d been flash-banged before, but not at night.

A heavy thud and loud shouting jerked him back to the situation at hand. He swung a tentative fist at the air, keeping the attacker at bay. The sounds were slowly becoming more clear and yet, further away. Looking around the white spot in his vision, he realized he was alone.

Arms flailing, eyes watering, Leeroy felt his way to the main deck. He caught sight of a greasy bundle of clothes rolling about on the floor. His adrenaline-fueled legs shook with every step. He could see Mando now, wrestling with the mystery person for control of long knife that clattered out of reach. The old man’s face was swollen and bleeding as he took punch after punch. Too late the figure heard his approach, its head dragging the body sailing through the air. Leeroy shook his hand in pain, stomping loudly forward in hopes of waking the rest of the crew.

A beautiful face with a huge bruise popped out of the heavy clothing, listing to the side for a second before shaking her head clear. She flung herself to the railing and heaved the rest of the disguise to the ground. Leeroy leaped headfirst and caught a handful of shirt.

“Ah hahaha! This won’t be the last time we meet you beefy mancake.” The silky voice flowed over Leeroy like water.

“Shut your mouth and grab my hand, we can spend some quality time together.” He ground his teeth as he tried getting a better grip, but with a fluid motion, the shirt was cut free and she waved up at him as she was swallowed by the night. The dull snap of cloth in the still air told him a parachute had opened below.

Leeroy grumbled and lumbered over to help Mando to his feet. “You alright old man? You look like hell.”

“Mind your manners whipper snapper, you’d be sprouting knives if not for me!” The old man…smiled? Through the swelling on his face, slobbering all over himself in the process.

“When you’re right you’re right.” Blinking furiously to fix his vision, Leeroy had to admit the lout had probably saved his life. “Don’t let it go to your head, you still got trounced by a girl, after all.”

The two sat in silence. Finally, Leeroy rose.

“Better go wake the geezer, get some rest old man. You definitely need the beauty sleep now.” Leeroy grinned at his partner as the old man guffawed and shambled off to bed.

Kris’s random totally-not-procrastinating blog about a dream

Kris here,

I’m a big fan of scary stuff. Movies and games, stories, creepypastas, SCPs. Not the gory stuff, that’s actually terrible and I hate it, but if you throw me at a spooky world filled with ghosts or monsters lurking beneath, chances are pretty good that I love it. I think it’s because I accidentally watched one of the Poltergeist movies as a 4/5 year old after everyone had fallen asleep. Sitting in the dark listening to some tiny lady talking about some ghosts and go to the light child, it gave me nightmares for about a decade. Which was great!

I’ve actually spent a good while seeking out good nightmare stories on the internet over the years, so if anybody knows a fabulous one, go ahead and throw it my way.

I don’t really mind the scary dreams though, I kind of prefer them. I’ve had a bit of a recurring dream recently. Well, more like a recurring place. I’ve dreamt about this big spooky, dilapidated mansion 5 or 6 times in the last few months – but every time I do, I remember stuff from the last time I was there. Once I even brought Tina for some reason, and she was like “oh well we have to bring Nik” and dream Kris was like “are you crazy this place is haunted we can’t bring a 6 year old!” Obviously we did bring him and he gets lost and I wake up while my dream haunted mansion slams a door in my face with Nik on the other side.

Thanks dream, I really like a good adrenaline rush to get going in the morning.

For anyone out there like me, surrounded by people who hate being scared, here are some classic fallbacks I recommend:

http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Anasi’s_Goatman_Story – This one might be hard to read if you’re not a fan of the greentext style, or the more casual (read: bad words) style of storytelling. I don’t let things like that get in my way but I understand we all have our sensitivities.

http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Smiling_Man – This is a pretty brief story, nothing extravagent but still a good read.

http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-087 – Man this story is super classic, I’ve read it like 5 times. It’s just fabulous. The entirety of the scp-wiki site could honestly be featured here because there’s a lot of good writing, but not all of it is spoopy and I’ve only read about a hundred or so.

http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Ted_the_Caver – I don’t have a particular affinity to creepypasta wiki or anything, but it’s a convenient aggregate of stories that I’ve read over the years so why not keep it simple? Ted the caver was such a sinkhole of amazing when I read it a few years ago, I can’t not recommend that everyone just take some time to read the whole thing right now.

Leave a comment and share your favorites, let’s make sure we sleep with the lights on for a week!

That *one* time Kris skipped school to read

Kris here,

Long ago when the world was still young, I attended high school. I was thinking about it recently for one reason or another and I was reminded about the time that I accidentally skipped a week of school to read a couple of books I’d stumbled upon.

Don’t worry, I caught up with my schoolwork. In fact, I’m pretty sure my teachers at the time were relieved for a momentary reprieve.

And yes, my mother did in fact try making me go to school. I told her I was sick and how irresponsible would it be for me to be selfish and go to school. It wasn’t a lie technically, I was sick of not having read those books already.

But I digress.

The books in question were specifically The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings. I loved the characters’ personalities and conflicts, as well as just the entire everything about Belgarath. I didn’t even actually like the main character of the story for about 80% of the story, but the world was so fleshed out and all the other characters were written so amazingly. I didn’t necessarily hate the MC, more along the lines of him just being so underwhelming next to everyone else.

Okay yeah he was like 15 or whatever and my favorite character was a thousands-of-years-old sorcerer who literally drove the direction of the world. I guess I have to give him a year or two to mature before he fits in with his traveling companions of sorcerers and royalty.

Now that I’m older and better read, I’m able to recognize the hilarious number of tropes and cliches written into that story so brazenly. I’m almost positive Eddings sat down one day thinking, “I bet I could just mash together every fantasy stereotype and everyone would buy it. I’m not going to even hide it, fight me world.” He made it work, so I can’t complain.

The story itself revolves around a kid named Garion who lives with his aunt Pol on a farm for a decade and a half or so. One day a super important orb is stolen by the evil main character to awaken the evil god and we all gotta go stop it. The journey is long and dangerous and explores the world in question through some pretty diverse backgrounds. It’s also one of the first stories I read that spans a time of years, instead of everything happening quickly and immediately.

It isn’t an in-depth, complex look at humanity or anything like that; good guys are GREAT, bad guys literally sacrifice to their god by cutting the hearts from living victims. So the bad guys are BAD. There’s a prophecy and some interactions with a few gods and all in all, it was amazing. I recommend it whole-heartedly for any fantasy fan. It’s a bit of a lengthy read, but I’m not sure why that would put a damper on anyone.

I actually started reading the series to my 5 year old for a week or two before remembering that, oh right – there are some pretty descriptive death and murder scenes written in. Nothing gory or crazy, but almost guaranteed to give the child nightmares for a while. I had to give up on it for now, but we’ll resume in a few years.

In which Kris reads children’s books

Kris here,

It’s been a while since I talked about something I liked reading instead of rambling on about writing every week. I figured this week I’d talk about The Ranger’s Apprentice. This is actually a pretty recent series as far as stuff I’ve read goes – I read it a few years ago, but it was just published less than 20 years ago! Okay it’s not that new, but a lot of the books I like to revisit frequently were all written in the 70’s, 80’s and..well the 1800’s. I’m into older stories you could say.

The Ranger’s Apprentice I believe has a target demographic of something like 9-14 year olds, so I actually just read the first book to make sure it was alright for my then 6 year old and whether I could keep it around to read Nik at bedtime. Five or six books into the series and I’m thinkin’ “wow this is pretty good” – as evidenced by the fact that it took me about 3 days to read each book. The writing is surprisingly easy to digest for something written for such a young age; to be fair, when I was 10 I read Animorphs, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe and Dragonlance. So I guess kids aren’t as bad at reading as all that.

I don’t want to spoil the actual story here, they’re relatively short and easy to pick up, but it’s essentially a coming-of-age tale of a young orphan named Will who got picked up as a …Ranger’s Apprentice. And he’s all like “pfsh no way!” and then later he’s like “This is amazing!” Honestly the main character is relatively likeable, but is by far one of my least favorite characters. I don’t hate the guy, I just like all the others better. Especially Halt, which is the “Ranger” part of the series title. He’s a rough guy who knows how and when to help, and he fills in my need to have a badass dude who can stand up to the evil guys while the smaller good guys are still doing jumping jacks or whatever so they don’t get stomped.

The series romps through a few topics I wasn’t really expecting to see – befriending bullies, beating drug addiction and killing a guy with a longbow arrow through the face, but were written in a way that I’m definitely adding them to the stuff-to-read-Nik list. Check out the first book if you have a few days to read a fun story, I can honestly say my copies are chopped up between physical books and e-books (self-control, what?!) so it’s available in whatever form you need.

Also the wiki says Mr Flanagan originally wrote the story as a way to get his own child into reading – I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I’m 110% down with that.

(the first book is here)

ruins_of_gorlan
Source: Link

Tina chiming in here,

According to my research, The books have been slated to become a movie and started production in fall of 2016. I have not heard anything new but here is the New York Times article with more information if you want! (Link)

in which Kris spends a lot of time talking about races. Fantasy races.

Kris here,

I’ve been doing some thinking-about-but-not-actually-doing writing lately (52 stories in 52 weeks HOW?!) and I’ve been lightly re-designing that world of mine Tina made her story in previously. Which is fine, except she’s already written a story – so I’m stepping through my own minefield of consistency demanding my own creation to change, but stay consistent with what’s already been written. Phew. And don’t pretend a single one of you isn’t thinking “haha you definitely screwed something up.” Yeah I know it, that’s fine though. Designing the world and the history is my forte, it’s the sitting down to plot that I’m not really fabulous at.

Let’s stay on track here. I do some light outlining or thinking oftentimes while either listening to a podcast (which is highly distracting), or just listening to music without words to bog me down. While thinking about races to use in the world a lot, and I mean A LOT, of people have some strong opinions on what kind of beings you use to populate a world you’re crafting up for yourself. I don’t know if any of you have strolled down that path, but let me tell you: it’s a rivalry. Not mine, I mean. But one nonetheless. When making flora and fauna to throw around – probably in attempt at murdering your main character somehow – I don’t actually see any pushback as far as I can tell. Throughout all my podcasts and researching the answers to different kinds of problems though, I’ve definitely seen some clear lines drawn in the sand.

“Hey guys, I’m building a story around a guy who has superpowers and there’s a flower grown at the castle that actually shoots laser beams like cyclops from x-men and if it detects superpowers like in the protagonist, it’ll CALL DOWN LIGHTNING AND SET THE CASTLE ON FIRE TO PREVENT ESCAPE” and everyone around is like “oh yeah man that sounds pretty good, I like the bit about fire you added in there.”

The problem seems to revolve specifically around just the sentient things, and more specifically, anything they have to put themselves into the minds of. Protagonist, supporting characters, antagonist, kings, street sweepers – whatever, doesn’t matter.

“Hey guys look at my protagonist is a human but I made his best friend a dwarf see and they grew up because the dwarf’s dad is a master blacksmith and adopted the MC when he was a street urchin so they’re like brothers!” and you’re going to run into one of three people.

*disclaimer: listen, I know there are billions of people in the world and it’s likely there are mixed opinions or even more varied contrasting types that I’m not including in my three. You’re very special to me and I don’t mean to slight you, but these three are blankets I’m casting over the fantasy community because nobody is going to read my segment on how you’ll meet one of sixteen thousand people. Not even me!

-continuing-
So one of three people. You’ve got the humans camp – “oohhh maaaan I’m so sick of all these fantasy races, they’re so bland and boring – bunch of tropes and idiot ideas to deuce ex machina your way into not having to think about relationships and junk. Just use humans! Jeez you’re one of them, what are you, ASHAMED!” I don’t want to take any sides here since I don’t really have a horse in this race, but I think this is my least favorite position. This is actually a position I’ve heard several of my favorite authors make too – why complicate the story with extra details for your readers to memorize when you can simplify the world as much as possible and focus more on the individual characters themselves. The towns, kingdoms, relationships, a sufficiently complex world shouldn’t really need fairies and elves to attract interest.

The second group you’ll run in to is the crowd who’s actually super excited about classical fantasy races. A lot of arguments I’ve seen in this realm are actually happy to include all the classics in a story, but really aren’t interested in non-human protagonists. It’s probably something to do with empathy and trying to fit your head into something you aren’t. I get that, it can be tricky to suspend your disbelief when there isn’t enough familiar material to ground yourself with. There’s actually a second “net” I’m going to cast over this group too – there are a lot of people who are just so freaking bored of humans that they refuse to include them, or they do so in the most minimalistic way. Honestly, I was this type in my early teens – I played all kinds of those tabletop games, but I can’t think of a single time I wanted to play a human. They were so boring and mundane, can’t even see in the dark. Useless! I think the draw in classical fantasy is primarily that a lot of the tedious groundwork is already fleshed out, so you can spend less time balancing your people and more time finding ways they can just rampage around accidentally murdering things off. Most writers seem to want to splice their own flavor to make the races unique, but it’s always only to an extent where the reader can identify quickly and easily.

The third set is of course those people who prefer fantasy, but you have to make it up yourself. No cheating using pre-fabricated races and worlds and the like. The first group (humans only) actually have a section hiding in it of people who will demand humans only, but if you have to do fantasy, then at least make up your own stuff. There are some pretty good reasons to do this too – more creative license to do what you want without people calling you out for breaking the standards. You can also have a bit of fun as a writer doing this too: you need to name an ugly, evil race of stupid jerk monsters and you have a terrible co-worker who think is a stupid jerk? Well it looks like you got yourself a name and a description! This can be a challenging sort of adventure to set out on though, since nobody is familiar with anything in your story in this case – this means you’ll need to concisely elaborate on descriptions and cultures in sneaky ways (lengthy descriptions are demanding on our attention spans) as well as somehow force the reader into taking your protagonists side in order to really feel what you want them to. If writing weren’t challenging in some ways though, I have a feeling a lot fewer of us would decide to bother.

I think there are definite merits and detriments to whatever you choose, otherwise there would be a lot more uniformity in the writing community. That would make everything a lot more boring though. There’s no way I could motivate myself to read the 80th book in a row in the same genre with the same races and the same timeline. I would probably… well I don’t know, but it would be bad! I don’t really want to list out the pros and cons since this is getting really long anyway, but maybe I’ll throw it together in the future. I just have to decide if I want to make it about an elf, a human, or a race of super intelligent rats with wolverine claws and a penchant for vengeance.

Some Light Reading

In which Kris describes his latest distraction to help you, too, not get housework done.

Kris here,

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of light novels. For those of you who don’t know what they are, they’re basically just really small novels which glow much brighter than regular novels. I kid I kid. Essentially, authors from different countries – the ones I’m reading are fairly exclusively Korean with a few others sprinkled in – write books or novels online and release a chapter at a time. I’m not actually fluent in Korean, so I seek out the cool guys who are and that translate them into English for the rest of us crazies. Tina’s been reading them too, and while we both read a few before just recently, it was actually our roommate who turned us on to the site we use that makes it super easy to find more.

Because of the translation, the wording can be a bit silly but I honestly think that’s part of its charm. The language used is often a bit more crude than the stories I’m used to reading – but again, part of the charm. I’m an adult I can say heck whenever I want to as long as my wife is asleep okay.

In case anyone out there is like me and enjoys reading hilarious stories that go a bit overboard with the overpowered protagonist, I’ll list a few I’m reading offhand.
(Also the site we use to find them: http://www.novelupdates.com/)

Everyone Else is a Returnee: http://www.novelupdates.com/series/everyone-else-is-a-returnee/
Easily the most hilarious story I’m reading at this time. The main character has been alone his whole life, almost like he’s invisible to everyone around him. One day God sends everyone on Earth to other planets to get acclimated to mana except him, since his loner ability is so strong God couldn’t even find him. He’s stranded a bit longer than expected and ends up mastering most skills available on Earth before they get back and has to take care of them all because dangit can’t everyone just stay saved for a minute!

Seoul Station’s Necromancer: http://www.novelupdates.com/series/seoul-stations-necromancer/
I’ve always been a huge fan of Necromancers in say, video and tabletop games that I play and I never actually knew I was missing out in reading about them too. This story is about a guy who finally made it back to Earth after 20 years of fighting for survival on another planet as a necromancer. The main character and a lot of the supporting characters are pretty 1-dimensional, but they’re also hilarious and I’m not here for character developement I really just want this guy to raise ten thousand skeletons to wash over his enemies like an undead tsunami

Master Hunter K: http://www.novelupdates.com/series/master-hunter-k/
Humanity is put through a series of progressively more difficult 5 and 10 man raids in which they have to kill a bunch of monsters and a boss-type monster. The main character here is the last of humanity and finally dies only to be awakened in the past immediately before everyone was pulled into the raids. I’ll admit that I probably like this story because I’m a huge fan of video games and I like sometimes reading about a guy just murderating the heck out of everything.

I definitely realize these stories aren’t for everyone. I’ve been studying a few different languages for quite some time and it definitely helps me forgive the little mistakes usually mixed in to the translations and understand different nuances used. They’re also a lot different from a lot of western stories in that in some of these stories, the protagonist just dominates the battlefields and is a force of nature whipping through his enemies like a greased steak knife. Sometimes though, I find I really like to pick something up knowing the main character is about to lay the smack down on some jerk monsters and probably set them on fire.

 

Alas, the wait for these chapters to be translated and released is horrendous and I’m THIS close to learning Korean so I don’t have to wait anymore (plus they make like $35 a chapter holy cow!)