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Age of the Empires: Chapter V“Guard the emperor!”
Yao’s eyes shot open, released from dreams. Without giving his horror a second thought, he pulled himself from bed, the memory already melting.
And, because the room was dark and unbearable even in reality, in calm, thankful reality, he slid the curtains open, just to see the sun.
There was no sun. The sky was gray and clouded. But there was light, he thought. At least there was light. “Kiku,” he rasped, glad to hear his lips working, “Kiku. Your first class is in an hour.
“Kiku?” he hissed, spinning about and nearly knocking his head against his own desk in the process. The duvet was neatly folded into a cushion-like square at the end of bed, the mattress smooth and unwrinkled, and empty. For reasons unbeknownst to him, Yao felt a stone-like plummet down his gut. Punctual Kiku... He strode to the door and cracked it open, not wincing at the light. “Kiku?” he said again, still softly—Mei and L
Age of the Empires: Chapter IVDrafts sliced softly through the windows. Yao bathed in the cold rather than shivered; the heater had been on all throughout the week.
Where was Kiku? His last midterm had passed a week ago. Yao glanced out the window, as though he could actually see the front entrance: instead, he saw the trees outside the common room and, beneath those, the small beaten trail leading to the lake, made from years of students sneaking out in the night.
He knew Yong Soo often did this; he would often go himself on separate nights, and sometimes Leon would follow him, during which times he would help him with martial arts, a passion of his. Most nights they would simply sit silently, necks craned back to see the sky. It was only when Mei had begun sneaking out as well—a week after they had moved in—that Yao began worrying.
As if he had not been doing enough of that.
An hour passed. Two. Kiku? He had never arrived home so late.
So when his phone rang, he sprang for it immediately, registering
One Minute in Heaven“We planned to be there at six,” said Jet, looking at his phone again. “It’s seven something and we’re still on the train.”
“Sorry?” said Brandon, ducking a bag. “At least the subway’s empty enough so you can sleep on me!”
“Please don’t,” said Edward. “If you value your virginity.”
Brandon pouted. “Mouuuu.”
“Stop. No. Stop.”
“It’s too early for this,” Jet snapped. “God DAMN, you guys are such COCKS.” He paused, but no one around him turned to look. The perks of being in New York—no one stares at you in Manhattan for vulgar words. They are much too used to worse. Unlike Massachusetts, at home.
He scowled. “Why couldn’t I bring my dog?” he grumbled.
“Because your sister doesn’t love you enough,” said Edward. He stared out the window, into the blackness. “I thought you sa
Age of the Empires: Chapter IIIArthur's magic club had not met for weeks—midterms—and would not meet for yet another. He admitted to himself that it felt somewhat lonely—nothing new, nothing negative. Sometimes, it seemed to him that he had been born lonely: In a past life, he was probably lonely as well.
But reincarnation—that was not something he quite believed in; Francis, on the other hand...
He scowled a little. He shared a room with Francis and Alfred, though he had vied so hard to be with Matthew instead. He saw so little of him that, in his mind, he could barely trace the shape of his face.
But the lack of people helped him—in between one exam and then a paper, he had the time to scour campus for Gilbert.
As luck would have it, Gilbert and Kiku were together that day.
They were sitting at the lake, very pointedly avoiding the benches—"Real men sit on the floor!" Arthur could practically hear Gilbert say—three full steps away from the shore. Gilbert sat with hi
Age of The Empires: Chapter IIIt was cool in here. Damp, even. But was it, really?—Yao frowned into the dim, reptilian light. Was this the new temple? The golden Buddhas stared down at him with smiling gazes, the light gleaning from their sides; slick and yellow, like the candles themselves. He stared at them for awhile, at the wood of the shelves, the incense tickling his nose.
No, not damp—incense is dry.
He inhaled a bit, the smoky aroma wavering in the air, and continued. He was looking for something here, if he had not found it already; was it in the walls, that echoed his steps down the maze?
He was looking for something here.
He padded off a little, shoes soft against the floor. Continued walking, inhaling woody air. A scent that one would never grow too old to love, if indeed age could dispel fondness; the thought of it sent a tease into his brain, a feather brushing against the organ (with the vagueness of an itch). The ceiling was high above him, with rafters. He was looking for something here
stars are a tentLet me be Nellie Bly today.
Let me be the freest wuxia wanderer
With fifteen coins—fifteen!—in my pouch,
Clothes and body light and only,
On the long journey.
New York or Hangzhou?
Fly across the world,
Crawl if I must:
Sweat equity and ten coins.
Watch the Mauerfall
With its shadows etched,
What I etch
Across the world.
In one fell swoop—
Ten coins, they are gone.
Gold from the sun.
Saint Petersburg tolling;
Many birds crowd
And clamor; I count them,
So count them:
I have no coins—
And each bird is a month
I will stay—
Which street to wander now? Without bed and board.
Shall I record
Or shall I pass,
To Kyoto today?
Shall I wade in Siberia,
Pen the ice and snow buried there,
Greet Mao yeye at the gate of heaven,
Ski Thai jungle,
And wander to India,
Then Syria?—try not to die—
Where there is nothing to protect me
But my spirit.
Age of The Empires: Chapter IChina sways in the winds. With the sap of his blood, he is a bamboo forest never breaking. His leaves rustle and the air strikes him; he bends back in an arch, then in the other way, all four sides.
He should have died a long time ago, he thinks, but the fact is that, he has not. Like a dragon, he has lived thousands of years. Sometimes, when he paints calligraphy, he finds himself writing it all down again—Confucius’s words permeated the air and lulled him to peace; the Qin emperor played with zither with deathly sting; General Guan’s son grew too quickly; Madame Mao, an old lady, was strong to the end...
And Taiwan had the most beautiful eyes, like the night without moon. And Hong Kong loved hawthorn berry sweets, and the Koreas were inseparable, and Japan had the quickest hands. And China pours wine down the rivers, watching the drops disappear into ocher. The tide, shrinking and swelling, never ceases. His land, sad and ancient, will never fail his people. And nei
Balaton - Chapter ThreeWhat does “Ich liebe dich” mean?
An expression of love, repeated over and over, so that it is numb and abused—but not “ich liebe dich” in its purest German, for the Germans dislike children, and their solid lovers. They are cold and hard, like the steel that the Prussians bit, tasted. Prussia thought of that, and how it could or could not have described that bit of lost love between him and Ungarn, when they were children; that fresh rivalry, and the strangest friendship between men.
He thought about it a lot—how they had been...frenemies. That would work, right?—it had to. There was no one else to talk to, about this and that, and this or that—secrets to share, though he knew she had Poland as well. But—but it was he she had told of her chest pains to; weakness. She had shot him and beat him, and she still shot him and beat him.
Over and over, he thought about it—he always had, because he could not think of many other nations
Universal - After A StormHe Plays The Violin – Martha Jefferson, 1776
There is a sort of peace when Hungary listens to the music. She listens to it filling the house. It flows down the corridors, through the windows and doors.
It's soothing. She has Austria to thank for that.
Every time she hears it, she wants to go to its source. Find the piano, sit down beside Austria, and never leave. Never mind the broom, the apron.
Here, it is calm.
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