originmsd OP t1_j6yo4l1 wrote

Don't feel that way. I asked the question in the first place to get a discussion going. The more people talk about it, the better the odds someone someday will actually address the problem. Who knows, maybe there is something you can do to help improve justice in your area.

AI is something that's going to affect every major field. Better to start talking about it now than get caught with our pants down. gif


originmsd t1_j4p4tw2 wrote

"What do you mean I have to marry him?!"

The young witch's older sisters roared with laughter, while the teenage prince smiled sheepishly. Gale turned to her familiar, a wizened owl who was sitting on a wooden perch.

"Their culture is matrilocal. Surely you're read about such cultures in your studies."

Gale's face turned red. She put her hands behind her back and twitched her lips. "I uh, I haven't been keeping up with Mortal Anthropology 101 as much as I said I was."

The owl tilted its head unnaturally, as owls do. "That much is obvious."

Gale turned to her sisters. "So what exactly is matri-whatever and why does it mean I have to marry the little snot?"

"Um, I'm right here, love."

Gale froze, her eyes shifting in alarm at being called "love".

The oldest sister, Breeze, took a step forward. "Most mortal human cultures are what anthropologists call 'patrilocal'. Males tend to stay in one place, while females move around. It's a bit like those male birds who establish territories and then build nests to attract females. Sometimes, families will pay a dowry, a sort of reward, to a family with a son who takes in their daughter."

"... Ok. Glad I'm not a normal human."

Breeze put her hands on her hips. "Yes, well, human cultures are very diverse. Although not as common, matrilocal societies do exist, where the men move around to get taken in by families with daughters. These societies tend to have equal divisions of labor within the household by the way."

"You could certainly use a man around the house. This place is filthy." The young prince tsk'ed as he examined a nearby bookshelf.

"Don't... touch... anything." Gale pointed at him accusingly.

"You mean don't touch anything, love." He held up a finger in his defense. "Contrary to popular belief we do have standards, you know?"

Gale rolled her eyes and turned back to her sister. "Ok ok ok. You mentioned something about a dowry. Since I'm taking the prince in, shouldn't they be paying me a dowry?"

"Not necessarily. The kingdom of Ning Lai is very egalitarian. There it's customary for the more powerful of the two families to pay the dowry. And although his family is royalty, you are a witch with supernatural powers, which puts you on an even higher tier."

Gale's face froze. "... So... by helping the royal family and asking for their son in return... I basically paid a fucking dowry."

The owl chimed in. "That is indeed how your actions would be interpreted by their society, yes."

Gale turned to the young prince, who was sniffing some smudged vials on a nearby work bench. "I don't suppose you come with a receipt?"

"Well, if you harm me in some way, my family could demand I be returned."

Gale raised her palm towards the prince, fingers crackling with lightning. Hurricane and Breeze moved in to try to restrain her.

"BUT!" The prince held another finger up. "Breaking a dowry contract with the royal family could also be considered an act of war! And my mother is very temperamental. Even you can't fight off twenty battalions of longbow archers."

Gale lowered her hand and started whining. Breeze breathed a sigh of relief.

"I kinda like this kid." Hurricane chuckled.

"I'm TOO YOUNG to be married!" Gale cried.

"Technically you're a century older than him." Breeze chuckled.

"I'll have you all know I'm very immature for my age." Gale huffed.

"That much is also obvious." The owl said.

Breeze folded her arms. "We might be able to find a non-violent way out of this for you, but it isn't going to be an easy fix. Meanwhile you'll just have to deal with the situation as best you can."

Gale sighed and turned back to the prince, who was now taking a dust sample of the window sill with his finger. "Your name is Dan right?"

"Dan love." He corrected without even looking at her.

"Ok, Dan love. Clean this place up I guess."

"Wrong. You and I are going to clean this place together. And we're going to reorganize that bookshelf. Then we have time I'm going to the farmer's market to get some proper ingredients for that travesty you call a kitchen. I'm not going to subsist on eye of newt and beetles. I'll need an allowance for that by the way."

Gale blinked at the young prince rhythmically while her sisters stifled more chuckles.

"Y-yes, love."


originmsd t1_j44av35 wrote

The young monk knelt in front of his attackers, not because he had surrendered, but because he was too injured to fully stand.

The mage was crumpled next to him, her robes gradually turning crimson from the inside out. The mighty barbarian was inching towards her, knees dragging, breath failing due to all the broken ribs. The paladin was out cold. If he ever came to again, his career was likely over, even if he was lucky enough to even able to speak words ever again.

The monk was only glad his mother wasn't alive to see him in this sorry state. She never wanted him to be a hero. Heroes die early. At the end of the day, her own sacrifice had proven her right. And yet, instead of heeding common sense, instead of listening to her and learning from her mistakes, he had followed in her footsteps, with gusto. Humans were stupid like that.

That's probably why they were a dying race.

The Dark Khan's Force Commander stood before them, sneering just enough to expose his left fang. He was not impressed.

"I was hoping for more." The Commander kicked the monk in the side of the head, knocking him into the mud. It wasn't even that painful. The Commander hadn't wasted his breath.

As he tried to stand back up, he got one last look at his down party. Right now he didn't have the mana to heal a paper cut, let alone raise them back up.

I didn't think it was going to end this way.


His mother hadn't actually taught him the secret, but he was such a bookworm in his youth that he had managed to piece it together anyways. It wasn't hard really. Adrenaline, relaxation, and a severe disregard for one's life were all it took. A very small spark of mana had to be applied to a specific portion of the brain. The runes needed to be tattooed into the flesh in advance, but they were surprisingly simple and easy to hide. That's what it came down really: subtlety. The slightest changes in the right spots could turn the human body into an engine of destruction, but only for a little while. Then, once the spell wore off, the debt would be paid.

That is why, when the Dark Khan came for their family, he was the only survivor, not her.


"Sorry, mom." He whispered to himself.

The Commander chuckled. "Interesting last words. Don't fret child." He drew his sword. "You'll be reunited with her soon."

The monk didn't acknowledge him. He just kept staring at his friends, the closest thing to family he had left.

Maybe it wasn't quite how she felt that day. But, hopefully it was close enough.

Hot steam began to rise from his back, arms, and hair. The commander raised an eyebrow and took a step back as the mud around the young monk began to boil.

"What magic is this?"

The boy took solace. He always imagined that his mother's final moments were excruciatingly painful but... this actually felt kind of good.

Realizing that any further hesitation would endanger his party, the Force Commander lunged forward with his sword, aiming for a quick decapitation.


But he was too late. In just one second, the brazen boy was standing erect, posed several steps behind the Force Commander, his arm outstretched and fingers straight.

The Force Commander hadn't even finished kneeling, nor had his head hit the ground yet, before the doomed monk fell upon the Khans. He'd be the last thing most of them saw, though many of them would just see afterimages.

As for the monk's adopted family, they would live.

And to him, that was all that mattered.