Last year, for April Fools' Day, Denise and I posted the results of letting a neural network write more of The Gifts of Darkness. We fed it the comic's text-only draft, which secretly includes much more of the story than what is currently published, and let tensorflow-char-rnn see what it could figure out from it.
Apparently, not much. It produced such award-winning sentences as "his eyelids closed his eyes". Thank you, char-rnn. You did your best.
You can check the post for our full analysis and our favorite neural network-generated snippets, but, to sum it up quickly, the neural network was surprisingly good at replicating the general flow of The Gifts of Darkness' writing, with accurate punctuation and formatting. The dialogue even had characteristics of Adrien and Val's distinct voices, even if the neural network wasn't very good at attributing the right line to the right character.
What the neural network failed miserably at was making any sort of... sense. It would produce text in the guise of sentences, except without actually meaning anything.
Adrien laughed in the staff and drompepted him. He adjusted a bit dashing and sat on his head and as he knew on the table around them.
Another shortcoming of the neural network we used was that it was only trained on this single chunk of text, so it could know nothing beyond its contents. Since this draft was its whole world, it could only glean knowledge from letter combinations that were already there, and maybe put them in the blender and decide that Adrien became a sponge. Only incidentally, in its flailing around, would it stumble upon new vocabulary that wasn't in the draft, such as "counterpointed" and "Ike". Most of the time, however, its attempts to discover new words resulted in nonsense such as "onwomiter". And, as far as the neural network knows, words that happen to not be in the draft, such as "mangrove", don't even exist.
The neural network, however, did make us laugh a lot, so, although I can't quit my job of writing the draft, the experiment was a success. So much so, in fact, that we wanted to try again using some new advances in neural network technology!
For many months now, we've been using the small model of GPT-2, which is a neural network already pre-trained on whatever it read on the Internet, so it starts out with a much wider vocabulary, and also with some forbidden knowledge such as Harry Potter characters, which it learned from the large corpus of Harry Potter fanfiction available on the Internet. We then let it read a newer draft version of The Gifts of Darkness, and harvested the fruits of its labor.
In general, GPT-2 has a longer memory, meaning that it was better able to make sense for a longer string of words. It can even refer back to what it wrote before to try to maintain a train of thought. If a character talked about apples, other characters may also say something about apples.
However, while this neural network is better at writing sentences, it's still terrible at writing stories.
It may give us decent chunks of generated text that make grammatical and even some logical sense; Val and Adrien will be having dinner and holding a little conversation around some topic, as it happens a lot in the course of the story... but the neural network's conversations don't actually have an overarching theme, point, or direction, so the characters may find themselves exchanging greetings back and forth ad nauseam. Or maybe the setting will change around them and now they're inexplicably walking in the woods while also having dinner at the table. More like a dream than like a story.
This shortcoming becomes especially evident when the neural network tries to write sex scenes. Oh boy. The neural network has learned what kind of things happen during sex scenes - people will be close, body parts will be touched, sweet nothings will be whispered... but it never reaches a climax, in any sense of the word. And at the height of all this tension, the scene will veer off, and the characters will instead find themselves having breakfast or reading a book. We feel so sorry for them. And their poor balls.
On a small scale, however, it is mostly coherent, and often very funny. Sometimes in a Lemony Snicket kind of way. Sometimes because the characters end up doing things that are hilariously unlike them. Sometimes in a surreal way. Sometimes because the influence of the internet becomes apparent, and we end up with bizarre AUs.
Here is a selection of our favorite bits. A pretty big selection, in fact - we became kinda addicted to the neural network's bedtime stories. Like last time, I illustrated some of my favorites.
"How long have you been here?", Adrien's voice caught by the windowsill.
"When I came here".
"Yeah, we're friends".
After he ate his breakfast and read his book for a few minutes, Valerion stopped him by the throat, and said, "Oh -- I'm sure you know that Valerion is -- very nice. However, I would hate to know what happened to what was stolen from the library...".
He looked at Valerion's index finger, which was still wet with tears.
"What are these?", he gasped.
"The Falderdeen", Adrien chuckled - a little grin on his face.
"That seems like a good buy", Valerion said, "even if you're not a particularly good sorcerer".
Adrien nodded in agreement. "Oh, thanks", he chuckled.
As they were moving away from the wall of fire, the sorcerer Valerion brought a hand towards Adrien's mouth and spoke:
"You should put on gloves".
"I hope you are being generous; I know that sometimes we forget that we live under two buildings - and that is not okay. What should I do?...".
"Since this is a duel, each should have at least one fine glass of water, and at least one fine hair dryer".
"You may tell me what you think", Adrien said, still giggling as he finished his slice of mushroom risotto.
" -- oh, I see", Valerion said, accompanying his words with a grin.
"Thank you again for asking", Adrien nodded.
Valerion laughed. "I couldn't care less", he said, "I'll do my best to explain".
"You should!", Adrien chuckled.
Then he looked at the page facing right: the title picture was of a sliver of the sorcerer Valerion crouching on the floor, holding a fork in his breakfast.
Val giggled. "Hm", he said, slightly red in the face. "A while ago, we ate six slices of bread at once".
Adrien paused for a second, trying to get a guess as to what was in his wish. But his ears opened wide; he was given a wide range of possibilities. Val shook his head, his gaze well spent, "This is not something I want to do".
"It is happening", Adrien smiled.
Adrien gasped; quickly, he grasped on his right hand and pulled it out, looking up at Valerion with wide eyes.
"Oh -- that's great -- I -- I was waiting for you to pull that off".
"So... what about the leek?".
"The best part is, it's still leek!", Adrien said, accompanying his words with a grin. "It just comes with its own set of flavorings".
As he had done before with many others, Adrien had been sent packing by Postal Inspector Valerion.
He took a deep breath. What would happen if he took a gamble on the black market and had --? He tried to think of a thought that wouldn't involve showing up to a poker session wearing a mask - a gamble that he knew he couldn't perform, that he wouldn't be able to bring himself to do something that would make him smile.
Adrien sat by the side of the table, smiling. For a few seconds, he imagined Val's smile, its diagonal downwards-facing, beard turning red; then he lifted his head and looked up at the clock. It was one thirty - a few minutes before sundown.
"I've already had enough!", Adrien chuckled, feeling the elbow of his arm curl, "I've got another thirty seconds before dinner!".
Val laughed. "You'd be surprised".
Adrien chuckled. "Thank you".
When the clock struck one second to two seconds, Val nodded. "Anyway, it's over", he said.
Sweating and shivering, he looked up at the clock; it was almost nine thirty.
"Isn't it like five minutes from now when you'll stop caring?", Valerion's voice boomed.
"I keep forgetting that you are born with two arms".
"Could I have bread and jam?".
"Naturally. Still sour cherry?".
"Oh -- sure", Adrien says. "Could I have meatloaf?".
"Yes, please", Val says. "Meatloaf?".
"What about it?", Adrien says, glancing at Val. "I'm hungry!".
In the evenings, Val would come to his defense of his home-made alchemy laboratory under strict fire and brimstone arrest
He picked up the fork and went to feed his fork to his mentor.
"Home is not a place of punishment", Val said. "To hell with that", he then said, his voice low.
"Oh, okay", Val said. He picked up a small jar and dropped it on the plate, which was covered with a few slices of bread and jam.
Had it not been for Adrien's sharp eyes, who could have imagined that Adrien's stepfather was a murderer? What would have they done if Val was found guilty of the crime? What if he had been a guest in his house? What if the floor in his living room had been rug?
He set his plate on the end table and took his place on the arm, leaning forwards as if he was looking at a jigsaw. "I just learned how to do that".
"Oh, that's why I was doing that", Adrien said, spinning his fingers as he smiled.
"I mean, I get where you're coming from, but... As you know, I stand by what I said when I first came here. I wanted to make a food that my people could eat, and that I could call their own", Valerion said with a light chuckle. "So, today I made a croissant and it looks like it's really good, too".
The next day Adrien woke up with a change of clothes on.
Adrien leaves the table with Lupin, too.
Val moved closer and embraced him tighter, and so he held him tighter as he embraced him, trying to hold him as close as possible.
"Within this body lies a philosophy; a metaphysical theory of mind".
"I should probably read it, yes?".
"Yes, I would recommend it".
"The floor is really big for such a small person", Adrien said.
He opened his eyes; then he looked down at his legs. They seemed to be tumbling on the floor.
"What sort of house is that? I've never seen a room with a queen sized bed and breakfast and lunch and dinner and dessert...".
"What about a few bathrooms? Made of old lady cloth, right? Andard's pan", Val chuckled.
"Wow", he whispers. "I've never seen you eat anything without putting your nose in it".
the Fire element is the element of Fire".
"I see", Adrien nodded. "That's good".
It was a little before sunset when Val and Adrien left the tower. They were greeted by the sound of running water, then by the blue glow of the torches. They made their way back to the tower - a slow pace as Val made their way down the hill, each with his feet steady on the smooth stone steps that led into the empty sky.
"So, it seems", Val said, gesturing at a small, rocky pond. They reached the small pond - it was a good five or six meters by five meter wide, and covered with little jellyfish and other life-forms. Adrien watched the water spin by turning his head and looking at the water come in by its sides, catch by its gentle waves. The sun had already set, and the water had now turned into a cloudy dusk; now its banks were covered with strange, wide-eyed fish that laughed and ran around on every surface - sometimes with their forearms exposed, sometimes with their naked bodies covered with fuzzies.
"It's okay", Adrien chuckled. "It's just me and my mom, and all of a sudden this thing is this -- fish fry".
"No wonder you have anxiety, isn't it?", Val laughed.
"They enchanted the whole wall, as seen in the gif".
"Wow", Adrien chuckled. "That's amazing".
Wow. It's been a while. I think I've been burning about one book a week".
"No, it's been a lot", Adrien chuckled.
"I don't think I've had as much fun as you have. My last book was called All in the Name and It Was A Wonderful Life And Then It Was a Lot Of Darkness And You Never Ended Your Fire", his autobiography.
"Actually, that was a lot of praise, didn't you say?", Val said, amused.
"I would have never imagined that", Adrien said, softly.
"That's enough darkness", Val giggled.
The following morning, Adrien woke up with a start. He quickly stretched his arms and legs, his hair disheveled, his head rolled onto the side as he tried to free himself. From behind his back, the sound of Val's footsteps echoed; then, his eyes locked onto each other and turned towards Adrien, who now wore nothing but his dark gloves.
"Good morning, Adrien", Val said. gently, he wrapped his arms around Adrien's waist and set him by the shoulders east and west, respectively. They played card games for a while
As bright and wonderful as the day had been, he did not feel like talking about it.
He looked at the paper again - "More practice", he said. "In the next couple of weeks, I should be able to prepare you for strength training".
"Really...", Adrien replied, his head low. He felt like throwing up.
"The master bedroom is the main attraction here", Val said. "Private lessons are only $10.00".
"How was yesterday", he then asked, "you managed to control yourself at home?".
"I almost did", Val replied.
"How did you?".
"I managed to get so stressed out that I was feeling like I couldn't do anything", Val said.
"What did you do to that anxiety?".
"I guess I threw up", Val said with a little shrug.
In the meanwhile, Val had enchanted two more pans of hot chocolate; they spent the rest of the day skiing up the hill and over the landscape.
"I moved here with my mother and my father", Adrien said, shaking his head. "My mother's death took all my things with no place like goodbye... My father's death took everything with a bang. I miss you mom", he then said, running one finger on his right hand.
"Oh, this is something I picked up yesterday at the market", he said, pointing at a produce stand.
"The jam is... well, the jam", he said, looking at Val from top to bottom. "I should cook it, but I -- I don't feel like explaining".
"No, it's just -- the bread is so -- not as flavorful as it could be", Val said.
"Oh, but that's because it is made of wood", Adrien said with a little smile.
"I had enough of being the failure and the embarrassment of being the failure", Adrien said, meeting his voice.
He lay a napkin on the floor, then he looked up at Adrien. "You have been doing great so far. What's been your name, Adrien?".
"I'm Kimberly", Adrien said with a little shrug.
"What...? What is that? I'm Kimberly", Val said, the faintest smile flickering through the attentive apprehension in their eyes.
Adrien looked down at his plate. "What's name, anyway?".
"I think I'm Kimberly", Val said, a faint chuckle as his bangs made his cheeks turn red.
His hands slowly released a warm, pungent morning air.
At last, he understood.
"Have you ever read The Lord of the Rings?".
"No", he said.
"How is it that I haven't heard from you in a while?".
"I think it's mostly that I don't speak anymore"
Adrien's gaze landed on Val's naked body, mopping the floor with his naked form.
"Would you like more water symbols representing the element of Water?".
Outside, the days diffused gloom and light; his mind was still entangled with thoughts and fears - and Adrien could tell that things were looking up for him.
At the bottom of his heart, he could not help but feel afraid of what Val would think of him. Even though his fears were not his own, they were those of someone else - and, he realized as time went on, these fears wouldn't have been of any use to him.
"Oh, I will be teaching you the fundamentals of Fire magic", Val smiled.
"Really!", Adrien chuckled. "Thank you so much".
"Thank you", Val repeated, still smiling. "Thank you for helping me with this. Now, I just have to draw a Fire circle, and then I'll be done".
"How long should I lay back on the bed?".
Adrien nodded. "At least, about one year. That is quite an extended span", he then said.
Adrien chuckled. "Yes", he said. "I was just noticing how you always manage to find time to sit by the fire... and then, when the fire is over, they have mead!".
"That is a very strange and wonderful way of life", Val commented. "They call it watching the stars with a spoon".
"That is also a recipe for disaster!", Adrien chuckled - and Val laughed with him.
Adrien's feet sank into the floor again.
"I would say, actually", Val said, a little bit of lip sync.
"I know that you are somewhat of a sorcerer", he said.
"That's true, I guess", Adrien said with a little smile and a chuckle. "I guess you're already a master sorcerer, after all", he said, his brow furrowed.
"No, not at all", Val smiled. He walked towards the table and took a bite out of a slice of bread. "What would you like for dinner?".
Adrien took a second bite out of the bread, then chuckled. "Well, I don't know, I don't know", he said, shaking his head. He finished his slice of bread and jam. "I'd also like to have some food, but I steer clear of too much food", he then said.
"Oh, I know you can do that", Val said. He took another bite of bread. "Besides, I think you should be enjoying the plants that you eat", he said.
"My bachelor's was Anthropology, though. In the evenings I'd often dine with other anthropologists", Adrien said, playing with his fingers. "At the time, I've since passed the Certificate of Professional Recognition, so I guess I had a good idea of what I was doing when I was spotted smuggling paper balls", Adrien laughed.
He looked down: his new book was already bare essentials for his new endeavor. He needed some light, he said, and a book. He turned it around: the title was a nod to its leopard-like hide, and, in Norwegian, "leopard hide" stands for waterproof.
Val had drawn a second circle in the air, and was now in front of a small tree. Plants started growing in front of him, buzzing and grunting.
They sat in silence for a while, their eyes almost touching.
The next thing Adrien knew, he was working at a bookstore in the village.
At the moment, he had three suits in the library - a sorcerer's robe, a teal shirt, and shorts, and a black woolen robe. He picked up his first suit, which had a tigerseyes collar and a tiger head.
After some more uneventful walking, Adrien noticed the plains around him crease into a series of small, rocky hills; some were wild and covered in trees, and some seemed to have little settlements on the top - a few scruffy houses on each hill that looked as if they had been brought there by the wind, like tumbleweed. Val stood in front of him, eating a slice of bread as he watched him read the recipe in his journal.
"Feel free to sit as if in a satanic ceremony. What you wish to do, however, is up your alley".
Adrien sat up, his body throbbing. "I... I don't remember...".
"It's alright", Val said. "You don't need to believe me. Just as you don't need to believe someone else".
"Right", Adrien said. He swallowed. "Okay...".
Val nodded. "Anyway, if you'd like, you could also bring a stick of celery".
"Nah, that's ungraceful", Adrien said, his voice slightly broken.
There is no need for symbolism. This is who I am. I am Valerion's apprentice. I can bring you any answer I want. You can do anything I tell you. You can be my apprentice, or -- you can say no. I won't say no. You can begin".
"No, it's true", Val smiled. He took a sip of water and continued: "I find it very hard to reconcile the fact that your pale skin is so beautiful with the fact that you are essentially a bear - a pitiful, cowardly animal who would rather eat humans than them with my people, if at all".
"What I wanted to do was to fill you with a vague, somewhat distressing image of sorts -- which, in my case, wasn't a lot of description... I tried to make you imagine that you were somewhere far away from home, as if you were looking down at a mug", he said with a soft chuckle.
Adrien woke up with a start. It was already morning. He swallowed, tried to forget all of this, but he couldn't do it. He threw up, then tried to sit down; he sat down with his back against his bed's side. A few more bottles of Adrien's perfume were on the floor, and Val was moaning and snorting as he watered his shoes.
"Wow", mom said, impressed. "Are you ready to eat yet?".
"I hope so", Adrien said, slathering the bottom of his plate with saran wrap.
His new home is Slimeballs, an enchanted breakfast basket that can be seen on the right.
Adrien ate the last slice of bread and jam for a while, his eyes wide. "I remember seeing a lot of you snorting cheese crackers while you were cooking", he then said.
Val chuckled as well. "How was that for a newspost?", he then said.
Val moved closer and started touching Adrien's hair with his fingers; after a while, he stopped.
"You could do anything, right?".
Adrien laughed. "I can't even decide if I would have preferred it if I hadn't had this wall of mirrors".
The tape machine began to spin once more, and Adrien, too, began downloading the music from the web.
A few steps back, he heard the sound of a forklift lift the cake off of the side of the table and place it on the table, where it all happened under a somewhat gloomy light.
"Wow", Valerion commented, smiling in his turn. "That's so dope".
"Let's go to the north tower and pay our respects to the departed", Val said.
"Ah, this is going to sound really weird, but -- it's going to sound really weird when I'm -- I'm announcing this experimental therapy for acne", he laughed, his ears burning with excitement.
Adrien moved his fingers, and, with a flash, the glass was opened and Doe No. 105 walked in. He wore only his underwear, but was otherwise bare in this image. Many, many admirers eagerly followed him; all of them children enjoying a slice of cake with a story told by a real person.
"Yes, I believe you can. You make your cake, you're in the kitchen, and all of a sudden you come here and you're a princess", the person next to him said, smiling.
"That happens a lot", Adrien said, feeling his cheeks flush.
"It's a bit bitter, but not too much", he later learned from a colleague who worked in the kitchen. "That is correct", Valerion replied, smiling. "Bitterbitter is an important flavor profile in a wide range of alcoholic drinks. It should be enjoyed with a glass of water".
"So it seems", Adrien said with a bit of a shrug.
In the flowering room, each spent hour drying his hair and dressing himself. After a few failed attempts at enchanting his hair, he finally broke into a smile; he leaned back on his armchair and laughed a bit.
"Like, the woods around the tower were so wild that even bears showed themselves unapologetically.
Adrien finished writing the letter and was sitting at his armchair watching the flames light on his paper.
"Good day", Val said.
"Good day, too", Adrien said.
"Good day", Val. There was a pause. "In another time, we would have said something very different...".
At the time, he had complained to the kitchen, "I should have just label-freezed it, and made it float away and be returned to Earth like any other book".
"I hope the weather is pleasant this evening", Adrien chuckled.
"It's fine, I think", Val said, reading a spoon. He paused for a moment, and the bread in his mouth opened in a pleased smile.
"Thank you", Adrien said, nodding. "Very, very pleased".
"Thank you, Adrien".
"elephant toothpaste", Val smiled.
"I gotta tell you, that library is HUGE".
"It is", Val said with a little smile.
"It is really HUGE. It might have the longest wall in the entire world, I think.
He picked up a box and placed it on the wall. "Watch this!" he heard Val say. He caught the moment it hit the wall, the sound blinding everything in the room and leaving Val with nothing but the dark stare of a defeated tiger.
"What do you think about his progress? Do you agree with him that his ability to make beautiful things is slowly but surely reaching an apex?".
"I agree with him", Adrien says, a little bit of narrowed expression on his face.
"I think not"
"Back when I was a child, I've read about magic that interacted with the real world. It gave me a lot of insight and I've been very interested in the topic. Back when I was writing the books, I watched a lot of fantasy literature, and it really gave me a lot of insight into the way the human mind worked. It made me think that a lot of people had different notions of what constitutes a good act. I was very interested in the theory of mind control, and I thought that a lot of people weren't very familiar with it".
"The document was made out of three sheets of paper, one for each of the five physical dimensions".
"And this is why you should only wear tight clothes: to blend in with the others. A symbol of refinement... and, you know what they really are".
Adrien smiled and chuckled in reply. "Actually, I think the buttons are the buttons: they are the buttons that allow you to hold the button while reading".
"I see what you meant", Val smiled.
"How long should I stay at the tower?".
"Some people stay there for years", Val said. "In that case, the longer the stay, the longer it will be".
"I don't know, there's just -- tiredness strikes me as a bit... which, I always thought was a bad thing", he said with a chuckle.
"It is", Val smiled. "Very real problems. Thank you for telling me. Now, if you don't mind melding philosophy with astronomy, that would be great".
"That's not true...", Val corrected him. "1979 was a good year to buy a book".
"1979 was a good year for audiophile books", Adrien said. "I own several audiophile books, and have used them for a long time. I own The Hobbit, The Silently Running Translation, and The Complete Dictionary of Icelandic and Val-gur-gud. And now I need those. I can no longer imagine owning a book in the way. It's very disheartening".
"I suppose that now I must learn how to read and write. It is a very important field, and one that I am still finding more distressing than the previous stages. Nevertheless, I can no longer deny that I am a useful person".
"You're not", Adrien said with a little smile and a shrug.
"Oh, yes, meet the cryophiliacs!", Adrien exclaimed, and started laughing.
However, when I tried to hide my feelings behind gag reflexes
From the cover, one could see a small illustration of a bat with a pointed tip riding on a frontestdraft windscreen. "Adrien: Enhanced Edition, All-Star Summary - Robin", the front cover read. The back cover read "Adrien and the Argonauts", and read, "Analysis of the most advanced windscreen of all time".
Adrien stepped back in the armchair; he took in a deep breath, then set his hands on Val's knees. "Very much so", he smiled. "Thank you".
"I'm glad you appreciate it", Adrien said with a little bow of his head. "Again, your highness. I hope I do better next time I come here".
"I -- I do better", Val said. He opened his eyes; then his faint smile faded into a smile of his eyes again. "Adrien -- you have been enjoying this journey, have you not? And when you say that you are glad to be here, I -- I must say that I was -- quite thirsty when I woke up this morning. I've been busy -- I suppose".
He sat down on the branch, and at the next moment, a cake rack was standing in front of him, the contents of which he nervously jammed inside his pants.
The cake came to a sudden stop midway through which it bounced down to the floor. Valerion chuckled. "I suppose that was fun", he said.
"So, to be completely honest, I am a bit judgemental towards you".
Adrien laughed. "That's alright - you don't have to feel that way".
"They will eventually learn that I have a venomous bird of prey", Val said.
"Are you ready to eat?".
Adrien smiled and took a small bite of bread.
He heard Val's voice through his nose. "Don't speak anymore".
"Let me remind you again that we are not in the middle of anything".
"It's okay", Val said. "You Cthulhu".
Adrien cleared his voice. "What, you think I'm a bat?".
"A bat", Val repeated. "I think I'm ready".
" Batna!", Adrien giggled.
He stood up and, with a quick gesture of his hand, he made a wooden door open; the two wooden doors slammed shut. The two wooden walls around the room were covered in letters and diagrams, each with a system describing the different aspects of each element. The one that did the talking was also completely barren - unlike the other two, it had no windows, no walls, and no roof. Even the floor was barren. The only thing left to draw the lines on were the ceiling and the surface of the ceiling. What did they have, anyway? Nothing but scribbles and penicillin tablets?
Adrien stared at the blank pages in front of him, trying to figure out what the hell was that he was reading and, when he couldn't, he threw up.
"I really don't know what I'm doing".
"It's alright. I know you're amazing", Adrien smiled.
"You've been studying so far alone? What is your destination, and do you usually go to?".
"Oh, yeah, to the moon", Adrien said.
"Oh, so that is where the romance between us ends", Val replied with a nod.
Adrien looked to the side, for an opportunity to evade the punchline.
"Oh, I don't mean to get you spooked, but are you ever going to get up and go to the bathroom?", he said with one index finger against his nose.
You know how whenever you have something to eat, we talk about it?
"I have VIDEOS on my mobile phone of you practicing spells!".
Faintly, he moved his fingers, and there came what appeared to be a fork in the book's pages.
He turned one of the pages, opened the cover, and found himself surrounded by such a sea of flesh and blood
"Alright. Let's see... Do you like coffee, Adrien?".
"Very much", Adrien said. He picked a cup from the large plate and took a bite. "With all of my friends, I get to try it out. So, it's a very small thing. But by being small and smart, I think, it can learn from my mistakes. It's like learning how to fly a broom - at least, I think".
"How small isavuro?", Val said with a chuckle.
"I think it's about the size of a large burrito", Adrien said with a little shrug.
"Very small?", Val said.
"Oh, yes, thank you", Adrien said. He picked another cup of coffee and took a sip. He looked up at Val again. "So, how will it compare" to him, he said as he picked another basket of hot chocolate.
"I mean, I don't know, I'm not really sure", he said, looking at the clock on the wall.
"I think you are more than ready to move to intuition", he said.
"Yes, I think so. Have you ever read, spoken, or written about this subject?".
"I have not", Adrien said. "I can tell you, though".
"No, Adrien, you must not tell anyone. I am sorry", Val said, his voice broken. He stood up and walked towards the wall. "The wall is -- really big. I mean, it's -- well, the Abyss... until you see it, you -- you start to understand".
The sweet sound landed in his ears loud and clear; then the sweet smell of my back.
There is no particular topic, but you will learn everything there is to know. I hope you are ready"
Adrien ran one finger over Val's cheek. When he was done with his touching, he floated above his shoulder to meet his eyes.
Adrien blinked, his eyes becoming wet with tears. "Yes. Sorry. I just -- this is -- I just -- this is it". He cried loud, and found himself crying as he cried - tears streamed down his face and onto the floor, his face was wet with tears. "I'm so sorry", he whimpered. He started sobbing uncontrollably. "I'm so sorry", he repeated.
"However, the school is run by Master Valerion, who is perhaps best-known for his work in the world of magical astronomy", Adrien continued with a smile. "His school is owned and run by his close friend, renowned astronomy teacher and noted herbalist, Professor Falderdeen. Since his arrival in the village, Falderdeen's pupils' attendance on the village has steadily climbed, and, over the last few months, he's been steadily raising the bar in this new field...".
He closed his eyes and rubbed his cheek against the wall. "There is only one thing I have learned, and that is", he said with a little smile. He stepped back and walked to the wall. He threw his head forwards, his body slightly tilting. He looked up at the clock by the fireplace.
"8:15 AM", the fireplace soundly told Adrien as he stood up and walked towards it.
"Please rest assured that you will have plenty of room to roam. You may touch the stone walls with your feet and the tables will automatically expand to accommodate you".
"I don't think you have any pain", the man's voice repeated.
"Well, I think I do", Adrien said, nodding sharply.
He stood up and began walking towards the door to the west tower, his black gloves covering Valerion's hands as he descended the spiral staircase. He turned around with his head tilted, his arms above his head, his black eyes wide open in a smile.
"No, no -- it's really nothing more than a silly prank; but no meat, no potatoes".
At the other side of the table, Valerion was smiling and eating his breakfast. Even in that moment, Adrien wanted to hug him and take his place as his breakfast friend, and so he started giggling.
Engineers are more attuned to the weather than to danger
He twirled his hair in front of his face and looked up at Adrien. "What would you like for breakfast?".
"What do you think about meatloafs?".
Adrien burst into laughter. "They're...unsophisticated", he said.
"How come you lack the chestnut?".
"I... I don't know. I'm afraid I don't know", Val said. He looked down at his body. "I don't know who I am... I don't know what I do. All I know is that I'm beautiful, and I'm beautiful, and I'm beautiful. So I go to the beach, I dress myself, I go to the beach... and I see that I'm not far from home. I see myself, and I say... I don't know".
Adrien looked down at his feet. For more than an entire day, he kept on staring. At one point, he broke into a sob, and burst into laughter.
Adrien's fingers went to play with the embroidered hem of Val's robe. When he closed his eyes, he saw that it was already past the point of being uncomfortable; his stomach sank. He looked at Val's hands and shoulders, then down to where the hem of his robe was concealed by the needle of one hand. He swallowed. This time, he wanted to feel Val's warmth and affection. He moved his fingers in and out, then placed them on his chest. Adrien closed his eyes and rubbed his chest with his hands as he closed his eyes again. Val was still sitting on the floor, his legs bent in front of him, his head slightly tilted. Adrien caressed his groin, sliding his fingers inside him. Val was smiling in response; his body language echoed in his head, and Adrien felt himself sink - he wasn't sure what to do. He swallowed, then swallowed - there was something about his smile that gave him pause.
"Val", Adrien whispered, his voice broken by a faint sob, "I... I need you to be closer... I need you to be proud... I need you to be... I need you".
There was a little pause as Adrien took in a deep breath as he answered his words. His eyes widened; he felt something sink within himself; something forced - like a weight had been lifted from beneath his feet. "Not yet", he said. "I want to be closer".
"Very soon", Val said. "I want...". Adrien lowered his head and looked up at him. "You don't need to be yet. I know you will be, after all".
"I do", Adrien said. "I just need a little bit of time". He stepped away from the staff and looked at his circle again. "How should I say this?...".
"Your body needs this time", Val said. "I won't go into it further than is comfortable for it". Adrien paused. "But -- could I ask around?", he giggled.
"Of course", Val smiled. "I can teach you a lot of things about your body".
"I -- I can?", Adrien said, wide-eyed. He felt his cheeks flush red. "Thank you -- I'm very grateful", he commented.
"That's good", Val smiled. He looked at his feet and directioned continue; and, after a moment, he turned and walked towards one of the bookshelves. "There, I should set the books on the table. If you don't like the idea of reading, you can always put them on the shelf. After that, you can read what you want. What you put into the book will be added to your wardrobe. Then you can go read". "What do you mean?", Adrien said, furrowing his brow.
He leaned back on his armchair and stretched his arms, then he stood again. "There is no better feeling than to be at home and eating dinner".
"It's true", Adrien said. "It's just so...It's so me and you"
Val smiled. "You are drawn to large windows".
There, Adrien found himself surrounded by wild plants and animals that he could not stand - not like his own plants and animals, but rather like these strange, amphibious demons that he had to fight to find his way. They ran around on all fours, screaming and scolding
It was as if it was about to end.Adrien washed his face with cold water; the last streaks of sunlight had already fallen on his cheeks.He carefully covered his face with his hair - with the exception of the very beginning, all he looked like this whenever he washed his face and himself with cold water.His fingers tightened onto the sponge.What was he doing in the kitchen? He lay with his back on the floor in front of the burner, his hands on his knees as his face was covered with the sponge; his eyes were wide as he played with his favorite cute little eyes.Mid-kiss, Adrien's mouth is still open as he whispers something in between breaths.scribbles: it's alright, it's alright to beige, jade, green, and yellow.
He lowered his head and closed his eyes. His ears opened in a smile. He felt better. Was this alright to him? Was this alright to himself?
Adrien laughed. "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't be chopping vegetables"
He turned his head, and saw Val's expression immediately change, but he had no idea where his eyes were.
So, I can finally answer your questions: I am Anakin Skywalker.
"Now, I should cut the meat, but that simply escalates the situation too much. You don't want to go to the kitchen with that kitchenware on fire, do you?".
"You have arrived at your destination, Adrien. This place is small, but very comfortable. If you are tired from work, we can stay the fuck away from each other.
"I became ill after I drank too much water".
"How did you do that?".
Val looked at Adrien for a moment, then at Adrien. "I needed six pills, I think", he then said.
"Yeah, I heard that was made of strong, sturdy, magical-grade steel", Val said.
Adrien laughed a little. "Well -- first and foremost, I'm just -- I was a child who liked to read and read, and then there was Asimov's and everything like that. Then it got to meet Magic: the Gathering, and then there was -- I don't know, there was -- Shelf of Wonders, and -- and then -- there was -- the -- Cthulhu Mythos. All of that was fantastic. Then there was -- the box", he chuckled. "When I saw it, I was so disappointed. I never imagined that I'd get it".
"Thank you", Valerion said. He took the last step and the box were opened, and they both had a moment of nostalgia dancing through their being. "The Shelf of Wonders", "looks like this:
Although I am not entirely sure why I chose it, it has been suggested that it represents something that has never been seen before", Valerion said as he gestured at it with his finger. "I had never heard of it before, but it seems to me to be made of wood, wings, and maybe a nose".
After that, Adrien did not sit down and learn any more magic. He walked outside, his legs running on the grass behind him. Val was next to him, crouching on the floor as he swung his arms above his head.
"It's not necessarily that I think that it is a good idea to hide in an ornate wardrobe", Valerion said as he stood up. "I am not meant to be seen wearing something so elaborate".
He walked towards the counter. "Ah -- I'm not here to pay for groceries", he said.
"How wonderful", Adrien chuckled. "Have you ever practice frozen carpentry?".
"This is a very important thought. -- Shakira said the same about you. You need to let her know. I hope she's right".
"I'm sorry", Adrien said. He took a sip of water. "What did she say?".
"I think she's right", Val nodded. He put down his glass of water.
"Have you written a letter to my mother?", he said.
Adrien's mother, who had been sitting on the couch, smiled at him and took in a deep breath. "I haven't heard back"
"I am glad. I'm always glad to read people's books", Val said as he set a book on the empty plate in front of him.
His mind was fuzzy and mixed, and his body was tangled in thoughts. He swallowed; he could hear his throat clanging and his ears buzzing.
What would have Val said if he had known? Would his words have been the same if they had not been spoken at all?
"No, Adrien, not long after that, you started drawing circles that caused anxiety.
Val folded his arms and set his arms on the armrests, then bent down to feed a small bird.
"Oh, I'm hungry", Adrien chuckled.
"Yes, I know", Val smiled. "No complaints", he giggled.
"Where are you going?", he whispered, trailing off to the side.
"To the city of Val", Adrien added with a smile.
"Oh, yes, please", Val smiled.
Adrien's first words have been written, yes -- but he's written no words. He writes, he crawls, he sleeps soundly, and he dies a happy sleep.
"So, it was just -- someone else had made a real cheeseburger", he then said.
Val leaned back into his seat. "It probably had to do with the fact that it was made of cardboard, since that is what most cheeseburgers are", he said with a weak chuckle.
"So, what sort of threat are you going to pose?", Adrien said, sinking his teeth into Val's plate.
In the village, he only has one room and the only food they have is rice and meatballs".
Good morning, Adrien. I hope you have had a good breakfast.
Please enjoy this gentle caress of the hand as we deepen our acquaintance.
"Yes, but this will take a while", Adrien said. "I mean -- I really don't think it will happen in a few months".
"Awww", the man in the bear suit chuckled.