The King of Eternal Flame

by kiyala (樹夜蘭) illustrated by pie派 (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/298395.html)   The flames of the Phoenix King’s rebirth always seem to burn that much brighter when there is corruption afoot. They are no different to the naked eye, but the Wolf Knight knows better to take things at face value, and knows the king better than others. […]


Betta and the Beast

by pie派 (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/290243.html)       — send the artist a comment directly (you must be logged in) see this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki


The Folklorist

It’s nearly half past eleven at night. Blake fumbles to turn the alarm on his phone off as he reaches for his radio, flicking it on just in time to catch the ending of the previous program. He smiles as he hears the opening notes of The Folklorist’s theme music, abandoning his work at his desk to sit on his bed and listen.

The college radio channel is absolute shit, or it would be if not for this half-hour segment every night. Somebody had begged the radio coordinators to take half an hour off the new age music that usually plays late at night through to the early hours of the morning, and turned it into half an hour of storytelling instead.

Blake doesn’t know anything about him, nobody does, just that he sits there for half an hour each night, his voice deep and calming and familiar, and turns folktales from around the world into little radio plays for his audience. It’s the most popular segment on the college radio by far, and the Folklorist deserves his popularity. Each one feels like a performance, with relevant sound effects and fitting background music. As far as anybody can tell, he does it all on his own. Blake is in love. He’s completely head over heels for the man on the other side of the radio and it’s pathetic, he knows it, but he doesn’t care.

He’ll lie in bed hugging a pillow to his chest as he listens because sometimes, he’ll smile at what the Folklorist has to say, or he’ll shut his eyes and imagine someone else entirely and either way, he’ll need to bury his face into the pillow for a while because he’s that kind of ridiculous. At least he doesn’t share his dorm room with anyone else. His best friend gives him enough shit as it is.

“Thanks for tuning in, guys. I’m the Folklorist. Welcome to half an hour of what I hope will be good storytelling.”



This had been the worst week in Robert’s recent memory.

It had started with little things, small incidents that he could brush off individually. Things like the papercuts he kept getting from the documents he handled in the office, or the fact that he kept having to deal with the most irritating customer service calls while his colleagues only ever got the polite ones.

From there, it had been quick to escalate. The injuries he gave himself became more serious, and instead of one-off incidents, it would be small things chained together that got worse as they went. He would leave his umbrella home on a sunny day only to be caught in a sudden downpour; he would run for shelter, only to trip over and nearly fall in the way of a passing car. He’d just been clipped that time, but his luck had plummeted since then.